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ECB's Panetta says consensus growing on need for rate cut

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Adds Panetta on global economy, cyber threat, background

STRESA, Italy, May 25 (Reuters) -There is growing consensus within the European Central Bank over the need for a first rate cut as inflation is diminishing, creating the conditions to ease its monetary policy, ECB policymaker Fabio Panetta said on Saturday.

"It seems to me that a fairly general consensus has emerged on the possibility of a rate cut," Panetta, the Bank of Italy governor, said during the press conference after the end of the G7 finance meeting in Stresa, northern Italy.

Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel said on Friday the ECB should be in position to cut interest rates on June 6, as a pick up in negotiated wage growth across the 20 nation currency bloc was not particularly worrisome.

Panetta has said inflation is showing a common underlying trend as it is declining in all major economic areas and that risks to financial stability have reduced.

The G7 ministers and central bankers discussed a stress test in which the institutions of the major industrial democracies tested their performance in relation to cyber shocks, he said, adding the outcome was satisfactory.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte
Editing by Keith Weir


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