ECB sees gradual recovery in 2002, lower inflation

GERMANY - The European Central Bank said on Thursday the euro zone economy showed signs of a recovery later this year and reiterated inflation should drop safely below its two-percent ceiling.

"There has been some evidence supporting the prospects for a gradual recovery in the course of 2002," the ECB said in its January monthly bulletin, adding the economy would still be weak early this year.

The line echoed closely ECB President Wim Duisenberg's statements after the bank's last rate-setting m

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