European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has announced a cut in the bank’s outlook for growth for the euro zone.
Although the ECB stuck to its forecast for a gradual recovery later in the year, the bank nonetheless cut the outlook for growth for 2013 from -0.5% to -0.6%.
Mario Draghi was speaking at a news conference after the ECB left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.5%.
He said recent surveys of economic optimism had shown improvement and the economy “should stabilise and recover in the course of the year.”
The euro zone’s economy shrank by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2013 – the sixth quarter of contraction in a row. Unemployment is at 12.2%, the highest since the euro was introduced in 1999.
Some recent economic data – such as those on lending to companies – were downbeat, while others had improved.
The consensus after a “very rich discussion” on the bank’s 23-member governing council was that there “wasn’t any directional change that would justify taking action at this time,” Draghi said.
The ECB chief added that the bank’s governing council had discussed a wide range of measures that go beyond interest rates to help stimulate the euro zone economy.
via RTE News
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