The European Central Bank is prepared to combat deflationary risks threatening the recovery in the eurozone, Slovak central bank chief and ECB Governing Council member Josef Makuch said Tuesday.
"Several (ECB) policy makers are ready to adopt nonstandard measures to prevent slipping into a deflationary environment," Makuch told journalists in Bratislava, without disclosing further details.
Non-standard monetary policy measures indicates the central bank would use tools other than interest rates. The ECB's key refi rate is at a record low 0.25 percent.
"The ECB has many measures on hand, including putting more money into circulation. Their use depends on the situation. If the circumstances require more liquidity, then I have no reason not to support it," Makuch said.
Consumer price inflation has slowed dramatically in the past year, far below the ECB's target of just under 2.0 percent, raising fears of destructive deflation setting in.
Deflation can be highly damaging if consumers, expecting prices to fall further, hold off purchases.
With consumer demand already being hit by austerity reforms and the euro making imports cheap, inflation has slowed and in some eurozone countries consumer prices have posted slight drops.