LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - The likelihood of the European economy falling into recession is "very low" the European Central Bank's Vice President Luis De Guindos said on Thursday, but cautioned about an ongoing period of sub-par growth in the bloc.
De Guindos made the comments after data showed the euro zone's largest economy, Germany, narrowly avoided falling into a technical recession of two consecutive quarters of economic shrinkage.
Europe was in a place where growth remained "below potential" De Guindos said at a BNP Paribas banking conference, adding that the ECB needed "to pay close attention" to the situation.
In September, the ECB pushed euro zone interest rates further into negative territory and said it was restarting its mass bond-buying program having only wound it down at the end of last year.
De Guindos also echoed recent calls for governments to step up their economic support measures and that low bank profitability was the main threat to euro zone financial stability. (Reporting by Marc Jones; editing by Elizabeth Howcroft)