ECB staff sees 2016 inflation at 1.5 percent

The European Central Bank's staff forecast euro zone inflation to reach 1.5 percent in 2016, still below the central bank's target of just under 2 percent, it said on Thursday.

The first glimpse into the ECB's extended forecast horizon revealed how slowly the central bank expects inflation to pick up over the next two years.

The ECB staff also revised down their projections for 2014 inflation to a midpoint of 1.0 percent from a previous 1.1 percent. They saw 2015 inflation at 1.3 percent, unchanged from an earlier estimate.

The forecasts saw the euro zone economy growing by 1.8 percent in 2016 after 1.5 percent in 2015 and 1.2 percent this year, a slight upwards revision from its previous 2014 forecast.

(Reporting by Eva Taylor; Editing by Catherine Evans)