ECB Forecasters Revise Up Growth & Inflation Expectations

Professional forecasters expect euro area consumer prices to rise faster than earlier expected, though core inflation was seen to pick up only slowly, results of a survey by the European Central Bank showed Friday.

Average headline inflation expectations for 2017, 2018 and 2019 were raised to 1.6 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters said.

The earlier projections were 1.4 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent. The longer-term inflation expectation was left unchanged at 1.8 percent.

Expectations for inflation excluding food and energy were 1.1 percent, 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. The figure is seen rising to 1.7 percent by 2021.

Compared with the previous survey, this profile is broadly unchanged, with
a small downward revision for 2017 and a small upward revision for 2019, the survey said.

Real GDP growth expectations for 2017, 2018 and 2019 were raised to 1.7 percent, 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. The earlier forecasts were 1.5 percent for each of the three years. The longer term projection was unchanged at 1.6 percent.

Unemployment expectations continued to depict a declining trend. The projections for 2017, 2018 and 2019 were 9.4 percent, 9.1 percent and 8.7 percent. The earlier figures were 9.5 percent, 9.2 percent and 8.9 percent. The longer term expectation was also reduced to 8.4 percent from 8.5 percent.

The European Central Bank maintained its monetary policy unchanged on Thursday, saying that while growth was gaining momentum and broadening, underlying inflationary measures remained subdued. The bank thus signaled that it has not intention of winding down its massive stimulus any time soon.

by RTT Staff Writer

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