The European Central Bank (ECB) has lowered its growth forecast for the eurozone in 2012, while predicting that the single currency bloc would experience a rise in inflation this year.
On Thursday, the ECB predicted that real gross domestic product growth in the 17-member eurozone would fall to between -0.5 and 0.3 percent in 2012. Three months ago, the bank’s projections showed a growth prospect of between -0.4 and one percent.
The bank said it expected recovery to take longer than previously thought.
It, meanwhile, said the eurozone’s inflation was likely to rise by over two percent this year.
Europe plunged into deep financial crisis in 2008. The debt crisis, which has afflicted the eurozone, has forced millions out of work and raised fears of a double-dip recession.