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ECB sticks to growth projections despite new lockdowns

Most European analysts have come to terms with a grim outlook for the local economy in 2021. However, there are those who remain optimistic, hoping for a bright future.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is one of those who are not ready to give up. The regulator is sticking to its growth projections against all the odds. In December, the bank estimated a 3.9% gross domestic product rate for 2021.

"I think our last projections in December are still very clearly plausible," the head of the ECB said.

Christine Lagarde is confident that the forecast still stands even despite new coronavirus restrictions across Europe. Notably, at the end of last year, many European governments such as Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Austria announced new tough lockdowns until February.

Lagarde underlined that most of the current restrictions had already been contained in projected figures. "What would be a concern would be that after the end of March, those member states still need to have lockdown measures and if, for instance, vaccination programs were slowed down," she added. In this case, the initial forecast can be revised downwards.

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