Trade tensions clear downward risk: ECB'S Smets

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[June 19, 2018]  LONDON (Reuters) - Escalating global trade tensions are "clearly a downward risk" for the world economy, European Central Bank policymaker Jan Smets said on Tuesday.

Belgian central bank governor Jan Smets answers a reporter's question during an interview with Reuters in Brussels, Belgium, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

"In the euro zone we consider the risks for growth to be balanced, but in the global environment - and due in particular to this trade issue - the risks are more on the downward side and a little bit worrying," Smets, who heads Belgium's national central bank, said in a CNBC interview. "Basically it is not good news."

He added that although the ECB said last week that it would not raise interest rates for at least a year, it was too early to say when exactly it could lift them.

(Reporting by Marc Jones)

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