December 17, 2015 / 9:14 AM / 2 years ago

ECB sees steady moderate growth ahead for euro zone

A general view of the exterior of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The euro zone economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace in the near term before gaining some strength over the coming two years but there are downside risks to this outlook, the European Central Bank said on Thursday.

Household consumption will remain the driver of growth, benefiting from improved labor markets while business investment could also gain some strength, the ECB said in an economic bulletin.

“Risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook remain on the downside,” the ECB said. “The downside risks relate, in particular, to the heightened uncertainties regarding developments in the global economy and to broader geopolitical risks.”

“These risks have the potential to weigh on global growth and foreign demand for euro area exports and on confidence more widely,” it added.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; editing by John O'Donnell

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