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Fall in Commodity Prices Is Good: ECB's Trichet

The fall in commodity prices is a good thing for the fight against inflation and from the point of view of the recovery, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet told CNBC in an interview Friday.

Jean-Claude Trichet
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Jean-Claude Trichet

“Everything that goes in the direction of calming those prices of oil and commodities is good to take for all reasons," Trichet told CNBC.

"Certainly for inflation. Not only immediately but with the danger of second round in the medium run. It’s also good to take in terms of consolidating the recovery because a further increase of the price of oil and commodities has an inflationary impact and a depressive impact,” he added.

"So again, this is good news but I will not comment more than that because you have to look at it in the longer term."

On Friday, oil fell $5 after a plunge that wiped as much as 10 percent from the price in the previous session.

Silver posted its biggest one-day dollar fall since 1980 Thursday, but rebounded somewhat on Friday.

Jonathan Barratt, Managing Director of Commodity Broking Services, told CNBC that the correction in commodities prices will ease pressures on company profits from rising input costs.

If the ECB is careful, the shock created by the increase in oil prices will be transitory, Trichet said.

"We have no direct impact on the price of oil… but we have to care for the medium run," he said. "It depends on us if (the impact) is transitory."

On currencies, Trichet said that a strong dollar was in the interest of the US but also of the international community.

The ECB has a "unity of purpose" with the Federal Reserve and both sides of the Atlantic share the same view on the importance of price stability, he said.

The ECB has managed to keep inflation under control, Trichet added.

"I have to say that what we feared the most, the materialization of second-round effects, did not materialize. When they materialize, it's too late."

On the weaker euro zone member states - Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Spain - which have huge debts and have sparked fears in the markets of a collapse of the euro, Trichet said they should make sure they pull themselves out of the crisis.

"We are telling them… that it lies upon them that they have the capacity to surmount their difficulties, as other countries have done in the past."

Contact Europe: Economy

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