Euro exchange rate important for growth, prices: Draghi

The euro's exchange rate is not a policy target for the European Central Bank but it does pose a "downside risk" to inflation, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Monday.

The euro hit a 15-month high against the dollar earlier this month, complicating the ECB's policy-making tasks by weighing on growth and feeding expectations that it may have to take fresh policy action, although some ECB members are against that.

"The exchange rate is not a policy target but it is important for growth and price stability," Draghi told European Parliament lawmakers in a prepared statement, adding that the euro's appreciation marks a downside inflation risk.

The ECB targets inflation of close to, but below, 2 percent.

"Inflation is expected to decline to below 2 percent in the near term," he said, adding that the ECB's monetary policy is accommodative.

The Group of 20 nations declared on Saturday there would be no currency war and Japan's expansive policies, which have driven down the yen, escaped direct criticism in a statement thrashed out in Moscow by G20 policymakers.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott, writing by Paul Carrel. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)