BRUSSELS — Top officials at the European Central Bank expressed confidence at their last policy meeting that the eurozone economy remains “broadly on track” but expressed concern that rising trade protectionism could dampen business confidence and blunt the recovery.
The assessment was contained in the written account of the bank’s June 14 policy meeting where officials decided the economy was strong enough to phase out their 2.4 trillion-euro ($2.8 trillion) bond-purchase stimulus at year-end.
The direct impact of new tariffs was “ambiguous and uncertain.” But “such tensions could lead to a more general decline in confidence throughout the economy.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as well as a range of Chinese goods
Earlier, the European Commission downgraded its growth forecasts amid trade war fears.