ECB lifts inflation forecast, keeps GDP outlook steady

[FRANKFURT] The European Central Bank raised its 2015 inflation forecast on Wednesday, arguing that its 60 billion euro per month asset-buying programme is bearing fruit.

It kept its economic growth projections steady.

The ECB predicted that inflation would average 0.3 per cent this year, above its March forecast for unchanged prices, reflecting a rebound in oil prices, a pick-up in growth and the impact of its 1 trillion euro-plus quantitative easing plan.

The bank sees GDP growth at 1.5 per cent this year, the same as it saw in March. That would be the eurozone's fastest growth rate since 2011, when the economy expanded by 1.6 per cent.

The ECB targets inflation at just under 2 per cent but anaemic growth, weak consumption, poor lending growth and a fall in oil prices pushed prices into deflation earlier this year before a return to positive territory in May.



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