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Irish Central Bank Says Euro Area Faces Weaker Growth Prospects

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The Irish central bank said the euro-area economy faces weaker growth prospects and risks are on the downside.

“Following the contraction in euro-area growth in the second quarter, available indicators for the third quarter point to weaker growth prospects and highlight prevailing uncertainty,” the Dublin-based institution said in its quarterly bulletin published today. “The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area are noted to be on the downside.”

The euro-area economy shrank 0.2 percent in the second quarter and unemployment has been at a record high of 11.4 percent since June. The European Central Bank last month announced details of an unlimited bond-buying program to fight speculation of a currency break-up and President Mario Draghi said yesterday he stands ready to intervene if governments like Spain request a bailout and agree to conditions. In the U.S., Federal Reserve officials last month agreed to expand monetary stimulus by purchasing additional assets.

“There has been an improvement in financial-market sentiment, largely on account of further policy measures announced by major central banks,” the Irish central bank said. “Nevertheless, the recovery in advanced economies is expected to be subdued, reflecting the ongoing adjustment to imbalances accumulated in the years leading up to the financial crisis.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Riecher in Frankfurt at sriecher@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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