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ECB's Nowotny says euro zone growth could top expectations

European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny addresses a news conference in Vienna December 6, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Pet
European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny addresses a news conference in Vienna December 6, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Pet

Vienna (Reuters) - The euro zone might grow stronger this year than so far expected, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Tuesday.

The ECB raised its growth forecast for this year slightly in December and expects the euro zone's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 1.1 percent.

"Maybe there is even potential on the upside (to our forecasts)," said Nowotny, who is also the head of Austria's central bank, adding that the outlook for Europe as a whole was now much better than it was a year ago.

"Maybe some countries like Germany, like Austria, might reach the 2 percent growth. We are still cautious in that our prediction is a bit lower but that might be something to be expected," Nowotny said.

The euro rose to $1.3695 after Nowotny comments from 1.3666 before.

He also stressed that the ECB saw no risk of deflation or inflation in the euro zone, "not in short run and also not in medium run".

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan and Michael Shields)

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