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Europe has growth challenge as inflation defeated, says Le Maire

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Europe’s new battle is achieving economic growth as inflation has been defeated, according to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Bloomberg reports

“In two years, the European Central Bank and the finance ministers have managed to break inflation,” Le Maire told reporters on Friday in Ghent, Belgium, where he’s attending a two-day meeting of European Union finance chiefs.

“We have a new decisive battle ahead of us — this decisive battle is growth,” he said. “No one can accept European growth being one point below American growth. No one can accept that the perspectives for growth in Europe are either recession or stagnation.”

The euro-area economy narrowly avoided a recession over the winter, and the outlook for 2024 is sluggish, with the European Union last week slashing forecasts. At the same time inflation, while slowing, still hasn’t come down to the ECB’s 2% target.