The eurozone economy will contract by 0.3 per
cent in 2012 before recovering more slowly than expected next year to
expand by 0.6 per cent, a poll conducted by the European Central Bank
(ECB) revealed on Thursday.
The data came from the Survey of Professional Forecasters which the ECB carries out on a quarterly basis. It was published in the Frankfurt-based bank's monthly bulletin.
The previous SPF survey predicted a 0.2 per cent contraction for eurozone gross domestic product (GDP) this year and a 1-per-cent expansion in 2013.
Recession-inducing austerity measures in some euro countries and "higher uncertainty" over the resolution of the single currency's debt crisis were "the main factors behind the downward revisions," the ECB said.
Forecasters also said that eurozone unemployment would stay at its current high of 11.2 per cent throughout 2012 and increase to 11.4 per cent in 2013. Inflation was projected to fall from 2.3 per cent to 1.7 per cent over the same period.
The ECB said it expected "weak" economic activity both in the second and third quarter of 2012 and only a "very" gradual recovery afterwards. "Risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area continue to be on the downside," it noted.
The European Union statistical office, Eurostat, is to publish GDP figures for the second quarter of the year on Tuesday.
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