Euro exchange rate important for growth, prices: Draghi

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The euro's exchange rate is not a policy target for the European Central Bank but it does pose a "downside risk" to inflation, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Monday.

The euro hit a 15-month high against the dollar earlier this month, complicating the ECB's policy-making tasks by weighing on growth and feeding expectations that it may have to take fresh policy action, although some ECB members are against that.

"The exchange rate is not a policy target but it is important for growth and price stability," Draghi told European Parliament lawmakers in a prepared statement, adding that the euro's appreciation marks a downside inflation risk.

The ECB targets inflation of close to, but below, 2 percent.

"Inflation is expected to decline to below 2 percent in the near term," he said, adding that the ECB's monetary policy is accommodative.

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