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Global Economic Growth Will Continue, Predicts Europe's Top Banker - 2003-11-10

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet says the global economy is on a recovery path, and in some areas growth could continue into 2005.

"It is clearly a time - the third quarter - for the picking-up, and the time also for recovery again, all over the world," he predicted. "And we are reasonably confident that this recovery or picking up of growth or accelerating of growth will continue for the time to come."

Mr. Trichet, speaking to reporters in Bangkok after a meeting of central bank governors of the Group of Ten industrialized countries, based his assessment on the growing economic recovery in the United States and strong growth in much of Asia, largely led by China.

He says the global recovery should gather pace next year and for some regions carry through to 2005.

"But what is clear, the level of the global forecasts, if I may, is really that the picking up of growth would be such that it would be quite likely that next year would be better than the present year as an average." he said.

Asia drew attention during the meeting because of what he termed "impressive growth" in the third quarter, especially for those economies hit by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - SARS earlier this year.

Mr. Trichet says the region's strong growth has been driven along by domestic consumption and has spurred a boost in regional trade. Economies such as China and Thailand have been leading the world's economic growth, expanding at more than six percent.

But Europe's top banker warns against complacency, and pressed for economies to undertake structural reforms to ensure growth can be maintained.

The central bankers are meeting in Bangkok as part of a regular gathering of the Bank for International Settlements, which fosters cooperation among central banks around the world.