ALPBACH, Austria (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is doing significantly better than the euro zone, so the Federal Reserve's debate about raising interest rates is not relevant for Europe, a European Central Bank policymaker said on Friday.

"The U.S. is in a situation with significantly higher growth, they are closer to their inflation target, they have a higher deficit but they also have a significantly lower unemployment rate," ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny told reporters on the sidelines of an economic conference.

"That means the U.S. is in a significantly different growth mode than the euro area. And therefore the discussions that are taking place in the U.S. on interest rate policy, namely on the question of an increase, are certainly not of relevance for the euro area," he added.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)