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ECB's Trichet: Euro-zone economy set to grow around 2 percent

ECB's Trichet: Euro-zone economy set to grow around 2 percent

Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, said Saturday that the euro-zone economy is set to grow at or just more than 2 percent this year.
"We are lucky to be close to potential," Trichet said at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.
He said that the zone, which was joined by Slovenia at the beginning of January, has been effective in creating new jobs in recent years _ some 12 million since 1999 _ reiterating claims he made at this month's meeting of the Governing Council.
The euro zone encompasses 13 countries and 317 million residents, and accounts for more than 15 percent of global gross domestic product.
"We're a bit better than expected, and a bit better than is known" on that front, Trichet said.
He attributed this to higher labor force utilization rates while acknowledging that labor productivity, measured as output per hour, remained an "area to work on" for the euro nations.
Regarding inflation, which the ECB is mandated to keep at close to but below 2 percent annually, Trichet said he and other central bankers were remaining "very, very alert."
Trichet did not use the terms "closely monitoring" or "remaining vigilant" in his remarks, both of which have been harbingers of interest rate increases by the bank.
The ECB meets next month and is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5 percent, but most analysts believe it will increase the rate to 3.75 percent at its March meeting.
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On the Net:
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Updated : 2021-06-21 19:37 GMT+08:00