The European economy hit bottom in April and began bouncing back in May and June, the eurozone’s top central banker said Thursday. But Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, also warned that the economic recovery has been uneven and that the region has a long way to go to get back to normal.
“The level of activity remains well below the levels prevailing before the coronavirus pandemic and the outlook remains highly uncertain,” Ms. Lagarde said at a news conference in Frankfurt following a meeting of the central bank’s Governing Council.
The bank left its monetary policy unchanged at the meeting, as expected. The Governing Council had previously approved stimulus measures that would potentially pump 1.35 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion) into the economy. Ms. Lagarde said Thursday that she expected the central bank to spend all of the money, unless the eurozone pops back to life much more quickly than expected.
Ms. Lagarde acknowledged the risk that rising infections in America could affect the eurozone, which trades more with the United States than any other country. Central bank policy is designed to absorb a possible second wave, she said. Members of the Governing Council agreed “that we were in a good place,” she said.