The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area remain on the downside. They are mainly related to slow implementation of structural reforms in the euro area, geopolitical issues and imbalances in major industrialised countries. These factors have the potential to dampen sentiment for longer than currently assumed and delay further the recovery of private investment, employment and consumption.According to Eurostat's flash estimate, euro area annual HICP inflation was 2.2 percent in December 2012, unchanged from November and down from 2.5 percent in October and 2.6 percent in August and September. On the basis of current futures prices for oil, inflation rates are expected to decline further to below 2 percent this year. Over the policy-relevant horizon, in an environment of weak economic activity in the euro area and well-anchored long-term inflation expectations, underlying price pressures should remain contained.
Text Of Statement By ECB President Mario Draghi
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