FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Following are comments by European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet at a news conference held after the bank's Governing Council left its benchmark interest rate at 1.5 percent on Thursday.
INTENSIFIED DOWNSIDE RISKS TO ECONOMY
"We expect the euro area economy to grow moderately, subject to particularly high uncertainty and intensified downside risks."
CHANGE IN ECB ANALYSIS SINCE LAST MONTH
"The change is that, today, we see that there is downside risk to growth on the basis of the present analysis, which is, of course, a change, which is significant. And as regards the inflation, again, we had, last month, the sentiment that there was an upward risk for inflation. And today, we have the judgment that the risks for inflation are balanced."
"The inflation rate should fall below 2 percent in 2012."
MEDIUM-TERM PRICE RISKS BROADLY BALANCED
"The Governing Council views the risks to the medium-term outlook for price developments as being broadly balanced."
"A number of governments have announced additional (fiscal)measures to ensure the achievement of their consolidation targets and to strengthen the legal basis for national fiscal rules. To ensure credibility, it is now crucial that the announced measures be front-loaded and implemented in full. Governments need to stand ready to implement further consolidation measures. Notably on the expenditure side if risks regarding the attainment of the current fiscal targets materialize."
ECB STAFF GROWTH FORECASTS CUT
"September 2011 ECB staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area, which foresee annual real GDP growth in a range between 1.4 pct and 1.8 pct in 2011 and between 0.4 pct and 2.2 pct in 2012.
"Compared with the June 2011 Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the ranges for real GDP growth in 2011 and 2012 have been revised downwards."
ECB STAFF INFLATION PROJECTIONS
"The September 2011 ECB staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area embody these considerations and foresee annual HICP inflation in a range between 2.5 pct and 2.7 pct for 2011 and between 1.2 pct and 2.2 pct for 2012.
"In comparison with the June 2011 Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the range for HICP inflation in 2011 remains unchanged while the range for 2012 is slightly narrower."
NON-STANDARD MEASURES STRICTLY TEMPORARY
"The provision of liquidity and the allotment modes for refinancing operations will continue to ensure that euro area banks are not constrained on the liquidity side. All the non-standard measures taken during the period of acute financial market tensions are, by construction, temporary in nature.
MONITORING DEVELOPMENTS VERY CLOSELY
"A very thorough analysis of all incoming data and developments over the period ahead is warranted. Inflation expectations in the euro area must remain firmly anchored in line with our definition -- with our aim of maintaining inflation rates below, but close to 2 percent over the medium term. Such anchoring is a prerequisite for monetary policy to make its contribution toward supporting economic growth and job creation in the euro area. We will continue to monitor very closely all developments."
DAMPENERS ON GROWTH
"A number of developments seem to be dampening the underlying momentum in the euro area, including a moderation of the pace of global growth, related declines in equity prices and in business confidence and unfavorable effects resulting from ongoing tensions in a number of euro area sovereign debt markets. As a consequence, real GDP growth is expected to increase very moderately in the second half of this year."
TIGHTER FINANCING CONDITIONS
"Our monetary policy stance remains accommodative, some financing conditions have tightened."