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According to a Reuters poll of economists, the chances that the European Central Bank (ECB) will extend its asset purchases by into the next year remain low while a majority of them expect a downgrade in the Eurozone economic growth for this year.

Key Findings:

“Latest poll of over 90 economists taken June 19-22 showed a slight cut to growth forecasts for this year.

The currency bloc’s economy is now forecast to expand at 2.2 percent this year, a slight downgrade from 2.3 percent in the same poll last month. Forecasts remained unchanged at 1.9 percent for 2019.

The biggest risk to the economy was a rise in protectionism, as trade spats between the United States and major trading partners continue, political turmoil in Italy and Britain’s fraught divorce proceedings with the European Union.

All 58 economists who answered an additional question said the risk the ECB will have to extend its quantitative easing program (QE) into next year was “low”, including over 60 percent who said “very low”.

Euro Zone inflation to average 1.6% in 2018 and in 2019 (1.5% and 1.6% in May poll).

Euro zone quarterly growth forecasts in 0.4-0.5% range through end-2019 (0.4-0.6% range in may poll).

Over two-thirds of economists expect an ECB deposit rate hike in Q3 2019 and a refinancing rate increase by Q4 2019.”