VIENNA (Reuters) - The economic situation in the euro zone has started to improve but is still weaker than the European Central Bank had hoped, ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Monday.
"The economic situation in Europe and in the euro area in particular has started to improve over the last months or even the last year," Nowotny told an economics conference.
But "one has to say that this improvement is not as strong as we would have expected it perhaps some time ago, and at the same time inflation rates are clearly below the price stability level that we set at the ECB."
A plunge in euro zone inflation to just 0.7 percent in October prompted the European Central Bank to deliver a surprise interest rate cut this month, though not with unanimous support from its members.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan and Michael Shields; Editing by John Stonestreet)