Euro zone inflation outlook still in the balance: ECB's Hansson

October 24, 2016 7:00 AM EDT

Inflated euro sign is seen outside the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach


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TALLINN (Reuters) - The outlook for euro zone inflation still hangs in the balance, European Central Bank rate setter Ardo Hansson said on Monday, adding it was too early to discuss a possible extension of the ECB's money-printing program.

The ECB will decide on the future shape and duration of its 80-billion euros ($87 billion) monthly bond-buying scheme in December, when it publishes new inflation and growth forecasts.

Hansson, the Estonian governor who has sometime sided with the hawkish members of the ECB's Governing Council, said it was still too early to draw any conclusion on the outlook for inflation.

"So far there is just as much positive news as negative news," Hansson told reporters. "My expectation is that the outlook will be confirmed (in the December forecast), but until one sees the outlook, one can’t comment on it specifically."

He also refused to speculate on any extension of the bond-buying program, which is meant to run at least until March.

"We should have a thorough discussion of all issues of how we go from here to next March," he said. "At this stage it is speculative to make a comment on one aspect that needs a comprehensive approach."

($1 = 0.9180 euros)

(Reporting By David Mardiste, Writing by Francesco Canepa in Frankfurt; Editing by Toby Chopra)



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