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Eurozone growth not strong enough to create jobs: ECB official

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[FRANKFURT] Growth is picking up in the 19-country eurozone, but not enough to create jobs in the region, a member of the European Central Bank's executive board said in an interview published Friday.

"Growth has returned and the unemployment rate is falling in the euro area... But growth is still not strong enough to create a sufficient number of jobs," Benoit Coeure said in an interview published in a group of French regional newspapers.

The ECB has rolled out a raft of measures over the past year to help push chronically low inflation in the euro area back up to economically healthier levels and stimulate credit and investment.

The latest was a contested programme of bond purchases, known as QE or quantitative easing, under which the ECB plans to buy 60 billion euros (US$67 billion) of assets each month until at least September 2016, totalling 1.14 trillion euros.

But the economic slowdown in China, depressed energy prices and the strength of the euro are keeping a lid on inflation, which stood at a meagre 0.2 per cent in August, a long way off the ECB's target of just under 2.0 per cent.

And ECB president Mario Draghi said the central bank could scale up the stimulus programme if the outlook for growth and inflation clouds over.

"When inflation is weak, the best way to bring it up to the 2.0-per cent objective is to support economic activity. Today, therefore, growth and employment are prerequisites for price stability," Mr Coeure said.