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ECB cuts growth forecasts

ECB cuts growth forecasts (by Simon Kennedy)

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The European Central Bank on Thursday cut its forecast for economic growth in the euro zone and said risks for the economy remain on the downside due to the ongoing tension in markets and the potential for those tensions to spill over into the real economy. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said at a press conference the ECB expects annual real gross domestic product growth of between 1.4% and 1.8% in 2011, and between 0.4% and 2.2% in 2012. The ECB had previously forecast in June that growth would be between 1.5% and 2.3% in 2011 and between 0.6% and 2.8% in 2012. Trichet said annual inflation is expected to be in a range of 2.5% to 2.7% in 2011 and 1.2% to 2.2% in 2012. The 2011 inflation forecast is unchanged, while the 2012 forecast was narrowed from a range of 1.1% to 2.3% in June.

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ECB cuts growth forecasts
Trichet vigorously defends ECB's track record