European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that a slowdown in the euro zone's economic momentum could weigh further on the reluctance of companies and households to invest. 

Growth in the euro zone economy ground to a halt in the second quarter.

Weaker than expected economic data for the bloc's largest economy, Germany, have raised concerns about the prospects for a recovery in the bloc.

While the risks surrounding the economic outlook remained on the downside, the recovery was expected to resume, though at a modest level, Draghi said in a statement in Washington today, highlighting the need for fiscal consolidation and structural reforms. 

"The current weakening in economic momentum may postpone somewhat more the resumption in private investment, which is also negatively affected by heightened geopolitical risks," Draghi said. 

"Steadfast implementation of fiscal consolidation in a growth-friendly manner and determination in structural reform efforts should contribute to supporting business and consumer confidence going forward," he added.

The ECB chief reiterated that the bank's Governing Council was unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate to address risks of a too long period of low inflation.

Draghi expects bank lending to pick up in 2015

Meanwhile, President Mario Draghi has said he expects bank lending, a key impediment to growth in the euro zone at the moment, to pick up early next year. 

The ECB is putting the euro zone's 131 largest banks through a thorough balance sheet review to weed out soured loans and check whether they have valued assets correctly.

This comes before it takes over as their new centralised supervisor in November. 

Draghi said since the summer last year, banks that will come under its direct watch from November had strengthened their balance sheets by almost €203 billion, through capital hikes, bond issuances or retained earnings for instance. 

The clean up will put banks in a better position to lend, which is important for the recovery in the euro zone that relies strongly on bank funding. 

"I expect credit to pick up soon next year," Draghi said in a keynote speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington last night.