Pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank (ECB) to take action against a persistently strong euro with a leading industrialist calling on Frankfurt to tackle the "crazy" strength of the currency.
Fabrice Brégier, chief executive of Airbus's passenger jet business, said the ECB should intervene to push the value of the euro against the dollar down by 10 per cent from an "excessive" $1.35 to between $1.20 and $1.25.
"[Europe] cannot be the only economic zone of the world that doesn't consider its currency as a weapon . . . as a key asset to promote its economy," he told the Financial Times in an interview.
Mr Brégier's comments coincide with calls from the International Monetary Fund and politicians in some eurozone countries – France in particular – for the bank to consider a program of quantitative easing to tackle low inflation, sluggish economic growth and the strong euro.
Benoît Coeuré, a member of the ECB's executive board, acknowledged in an interview that the stronger the euro became, the more the bank would come under pressure to act. "A lot of the low level of inflation . . . is due to the strength of the euro so the stronger the euro the more we have to do monetary accommodation."
However, he rejected calls to focus on the exchange rate explicitly. "It is not possible to target it because exchange rates are set on global markets, so it wouldn't be wise or possible for us to have it as a policy target."