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European Central Bank says growth will remains slow

Interest rates likely to remain low to try to boost economies

16 January, 11:49
European Central Bank says growth will remains slow (ANSA) - Rome, January 16 - While domestic demand is gradually improving in European economies, including Italy, growth will remain quite slow, the European Central Bank warned Thursday.

In its regular monthly bulletin, the central bank said that it sees a "broad-based weakness of the economy" across Europe which means it will keep interest rates low to try to "assist the gradual economic recovery in the euro area".

Uncertainties in the eurozone economy, particularly in financial markets, remain a risk, added the ECB, which also forecast an extended period of low inflation.

That fits with an inflation report earlier the week that showed price pressures in Italy fell dramatically in 2013 compared with 2012.

Italy's annual inflation rate in 2013 averaged just 1.2% - a sizeable drop from the 3.0% average in 2012.

Last year's rise in the consumer price index was also the smallest since 2009, national statistical agency Istat reported.