ECB Says Economy Continues to Improve and Risks are Diminishing

The euro zone's economy continues to improve and faces fewer dangers, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, signaling a continuing benign view of the bloc's economic prospects.

Draghi also said inflation was likely to stay low this year.

"Incoming data ... confirm that the cyclical recovery of the euro area is becoming increasingly solid," he told a news conference following the ECB's decision to keep its ultra-easy monetary policy unchanged.

He said the risks to the economy remained primarily negative but that "downside risks have diminished."

Draghi said the big risk to the euro zone economy came from the slow pace of structural reforms in member states.

(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Richard Lough)