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Trichet: Significant Market Correction Ongoing

Reuters
Monday, 19 May 2008 | 4:51 AM ET

European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet warned on Monday that the end of the credit crunch was not yet in sight and the world was experiencing an "ongoing and very significant market correction."

Speaking on BBC radio in Britain Trichet said policymakers needed to make containing inflation their top priority.

"Price stability and credibility in price stability in the medium term is the best way to have a high level of sustainable (economic) growth and sustainable job creation," he said.

Trichet said inflationary pressures were being added to by an accumulation of oil price rises and food price rises, adding: "These are demanding times, challenging times."

He warned governments not to make the wrong moves and risk the knock-on "second round effects" of inflation which followed the last oil price shock in the 1970s.

These, he said, had "enshrined the high level of inflation for a long period of time" and led to mass unemployment in Europe.

Asked whether things were likely to improve from here on, he insisted the problems were not yet over. "It is an ongoing, very significant market correction," he repeated.

His comments come after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week the healing process from the credit crisis would take some time.

Deutsche Bank's Chief Executive Josef Ackermann was more upbeat however in an interview over the weekend.

"I think that we are getting closer to the end of the financial crisis," Ackermann told the Swiss Sunday newspaper Sonntagsblick.

"It is not fully over yet, but the signs from the United States are encouraging." ECB Governing Council members Miguel Fernandez Ordonez and Marko Kranjec may add their voices to the arguement on Monday.

Both are due speak in their home countries later.

Contact Europe: Economy

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