Weak European productivity requires action: ECB's Coeure


FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Europe's productivity growth is sluggish and insufficient to raise living standards, requiring government action, European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Friday.


"One thing that is clear is that government support for innovation matters: in Europe differences in innovation capacity across countries are closely related to public spending on R&D, particularly in basic research," Coeure said in Davos.


"Hence such spending needs to be prioritized in national budgets and in the EU budget, and in particular in situations of fiscal consolidation," Coeure said. "Spending on higher education is also key: the US spends about twice as much on tertiary education per pupil as we do in Europe."


(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Andreas Framke)