European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde stated on Monday that she expects the European economy to go back to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2022, moving up the central bank's earlier projections by a quarter, APA reports citing Teletrader.
In an interview with Politico, Lagarde noted that the recovery phase has started, with the economic outlook "heading in the right direction," and that the bank is now focused on anchoring it, adding that the recovery needs to be "firm, solid and sustainable." She also reiterated her earlier comments on the pandemic emergency purchase program (PEPP), saying that it was too early to talk about ending the program, but that there is "plenty of flexibility" in keeping it after its designated end date of March 31, 2022.
Lagarde also commented on the European Union's recovery fund, noting that the Commission's advance of 13% of the funds before the end of the year is a "very, very strong change." However, she cautioned that it was up to the countries to fully implement the plan and that if they do it can "really transform the future of Europe."