ECB Raises 2016 Growth Forecast, But Warns On Weak Exports

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The European Central Bank is seeing stronger-than-expected economic growth in the eurozone this year, although the risk to GDP continues to be tilted to the downside, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday. The central bank now expects gross domestic product to rise by 1.6% in 2016, up from a previous estimate of 1.4%. For 2017, the bank still sees economic growth of 1.7%, while it downgraded its 2018 forecast to 1.7% from 1.8%. "Looking ahead, we expect the economic recovery to proceed at a moderate but steady pace," Draghi said in the news conference after the bank's rate decision. "The economic recovery in the euro area continues to be dampened by subdued growth prospects in emerging markets, the necessary balance sheet adjustments in a number of sectors and a sluggish pace of implementation of structural reforms."

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