Rato says 'premature' to rule out ECB rate cut

International Monetary Fund managing director Rodrigo Rato said it would be "premature" to exclude interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank while the eurozone economy remains in "a soft patch".

Rato told reporters that the eurozone recovery "lost steam in the second half of last year" because of a slow down in export growth and a slower than expected upturn in domestic demand.

While the appreciation of the euro against the dollar "has been a factor", the impact has not been major as "it has

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