ECB expects Eurozone to contract in 2013

ECB expects Eurozone to contract in 2013 Frankfurt: The European Central Bank, or ECB, Thursday revised its 2013 forecast for the Eurozone downward, with the area's economy now expected to contract 0.40 percent.

The ECB's previous Eurozone forecast, which was released in December, forecast a contraction in the Eurozone's gross domestic product of 0.03 percent this year.

The countries that share the single European currency will grow about 1 percent in 2014, the ECB said.

The downward revision mainly reflects a greater negative impact from the contraction in GDP registered in the fourth quarter of 2012, the ECB said.

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said, however, that the forecast rate of recovery was holding.

Eurozone inflation is expected to remain at an average of 1.6 percent in 2013, with a range of 1.2 percent to 2 percent, roughly in line with last December's forecast, the ECB said.

The ECB's December forecast called for inflation to stay in the range of 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent in 2013.


IANS