EC's Juncker says euro growth to miss target

European finance ministers have said economic growth in the euro region will not meet official forecasts in 2005 as oil prices stay close to a record, consumer confidence stagnates and Italy struggles with recession.

``The expectations at the beginning of the year and also in spring do not fully conform to what we had expected,'' Juncker said in an interview late yesterday after chairing a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels. ``But we expect the third quarter to be clearly better

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