European Central Bank president to Trump: 'We are not currency manipulators'

The currency bloc's recovery is gaining strength but labour market slack remains large, productivity growth is weak and risks remain tilted to the downside, requiring the ECB's continued help, Draghi told the European Parliament's committee on economic affairs.

European banking officials Monday warned against easing US banking regulations, saying it could lead to a new financial crisis, and denied the eurozone is engaged in currency manipulation as suggested by President Donald Trump's trade adviser.

Draghi has made the claim multiple times before, but the issue of whether and how a country can leave the single currency returned to the fore after French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said she would take France out of the euro if elected. "Germany has a significant bilateral trade surplus with the US, a material current account surplus, but it has not engaged in persistent one-sided intervention in the foreign exchange market".

Draghi also slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's policy of loosening bank regulations which were introduced after the 2008 financial crisis, saying Washington's idea was "very worrisome". Rolling back the compendium of financial rules meant to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis would be "very worrisome", he said.

"Our monetary policy strategy prescribes that we should not react to individual data points and short-lived increases in inflation", Draghi said.

The euro was little changed as Draghi spoke, trading at $1.0727 at 4:31 p.m.in Frankfurt.

ECB policymakers decided in December to extend the bank's mass bond-buying policy beyond a previous deadline of March 2017, to December, albeit at 60 billion euros ($64 billion) per month from April, down from the present 80 billion. "Over the last two years GDP per capita has increased by 3% in the euro area, which compares well with other major advanced economies".

"Support from our monetary policy measures is still needed if inflation rates are to converge towards our objective with sufficient confidence and in a sustained manner", Draghi said.

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