ECB's Asmussen says sees economy picking up this year


European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said on Tuesday recent economic data had been poor but added that he expected the economy to pick up over the course of 2013.

"I think that the (data) will improve this year," Asmussen said in a speech at an event organized by Germany's Social Democrats (SPD).

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He also reiterated that the ECB, which last week cut interest rates to 0.5 percent, was ready to act again if necessary, though he added that keeping interest rates too low for too long could lead to capital misallocation.

He said inflation expectations were firmly anchored.

(Reporting by Eva Kuehnen)