FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's economy had passed the worst of the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak and was now expected to recover gradually, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
Restrictions in Germany imposed because of the pandemic are slowly being lifted, allowing economic activity to resume.
"The low point should be behind us by now and things are looking up again. Following the sharp slump, we only see a comparatively gradual recovery," Weidmann told the paper.
In June, the ECB downgraded its forecasts for the euro zone, predicting an 8.7% economic contraction in 2020 as its baseline case and a 12.6% fall in its "severe" scenario.
Weidmann said state aid was a legitimate tool for boosting the economy to help healthy companies survive but said the nation should not become dependent on public money.
"It is important that the measures are targeted and temporary," Weidmann said, calling for a return to "sound budgetary positions."
Weidmann said the Bundesbank aimed to be more transparent with lawmakers in implementing a verdict by Germany's Constitutional Court that gave the ECB three months to explain the proportionality of bond purchases to stimulate the euro zone or risk losing the Bundesbank as a participant in the purchases.
"It goes without saying that I will maintain the confidentiality of the ECB council meetings. I would therefore be pleased if the Bundestag takes the initiative and invites me again to a dialogue," he said, referring to the German parliament.
He also said the ECB needed to be ready to shift course as the situation changed, saying that "once the normalisation of monetary policy with a view to price development becomes necessary, it must not prevented out of consideration for the government's financing costs."
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Edmund Blair)