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ECB's Draghi warns EU leaders that growth is slowing

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By Reuters
ECB's Draghi warns EU leaders that growth is slowing
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi speaks during a news conference at ECB headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach   -   Copyright  KAI PFAFFENBACH(Reuters)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi told European Union leaders on Friday that growth was slower than previously forecast and urged them to move ahead with reforms of the euro zone, one official said.

Draghi briefed the leaders about the economic situation, mentioning that there was “continuing confidence with increasing caution”. Growth was lower than before, the ECB revised down the growth outlook three times this year, he said, adding wages were growing in many countries.

Draghi welcomed work done on deeper euro zone integration by euro zone finance ministers and said that a new budgetary instrument, which the leaders said be to boost competitiveness and convergence, was a step forward.

But he noted that it was important that governments played by EU budget rules, which limit the size of budget deficits and public debt and urged progress on completing the banking union that misses an EU deposit guarantee scheme.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Jan Strupczewski)