September 7, 2017 / 12:51 PM / 9 days ago

ECB keeps inflation forecasts, sees slightly lower growth

    FRANKFURT, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank
kept its inflation forecasts unchanged in September but lowered
growth projections slightly, ECB President Mario Draghi told a
news conference on Thursday.
    The ECB, which targets inflation at just below 2 percent,
sees consumer price growth at 1.7 percent this year and in 2019
and 2020.
    With underlying economic trends little changed since its
previous projections in June, economists had predicted almost no
change in the ECB's quarterly forecasts, with a Reuters poll
projecting 1.7 percent inflation through 2020. 
    But worries over protectionism and turbulence in several key
economies have weighed on some growth indicators and economists
had said there was a risk of some small cuts to the ECB's
forecasts. 
    For 2018, the ECB sees euro zone economic growth of 2.0
percent, against a previous projection of 2.1 percent, while in
2019 it sees growth at 1.8 percent versus its June forecast of
1.9 percent. Its 1.7 percent forecast for 2020 was unchanged.
    The following are the ECB staff's new projections for
inflation and GDP growth, with June forecasts in brackets.
    The ECB updates projections once a quarter.

                2018        2019        2020
GDP growth    2.0 (2.1)   1.8 (1.9)   1.7 (1.7)
Inflation     1.7 (1.7)   1.7 (1.7)   1.7 (1.7)

 (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Catherine Evans)
  
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