Euro zone economic growth will be steady but modest over the coming year, a Reuters poll of economists shows today.
But that growth will depend partly on independent candidate Emmanuel Macron winning the French presidency next month
The results suggest forecasters, like investors and traders, appear unrattled by political uncertainty as France prepares for a presidential election in which far right and anti-European Union leader Marine Le Pen is polling strongly, although no major survey sees her winning.
France is the EU's second biggest economy so turmoil there would weigh on the wider bloc.
A separate poll of foreign exchange strategists earlier this month showed the euro falling about 5% to near 15-year lows and close to parity against the dollar in the immediate aftermath of a Le Pen win the vote.
But the latest poll of over 80 economists showed predictions for euro zone growth and inflation have barely budged over the last two years of monthly Reuters surveys.
Economic growth in the euro zone is expected to be steady at 0.4% in each quarter up to the third quarter of next year, unchanged from last month's poll.
Median consensus for annual GDP growth for this year was 1.7% and for next it was 1.6%, in line with the International Monetary Fund's latest projections.
But inflation is forecast to remain below the European Central Bank's target of close to but under 2% until at least 2019. The highest call was for inflation to average 2.1% this year.
Those decent-yet-uninspiring predictions come despite surprisingly strong business confidence surveys and hints of a pick up in price pressures since the start of the year.
But with the inflation outlook still tepid, economists unianimously said the ECB would stand pat at its monetary policy meeting on April 27.
The ECB is expected to keep its interest rates on hold through to until at least the fourth quarter of 2018.
While the ECB is expected to remain on the sidelines through this year, when asked on the next likely move, a majority of economists said it would extend its asset purchases programme beyond December 2017 with a cut to the monthly spend, currently at €60 billion a month.
The next top pick was for the ECB to announce a taper to its its asset purchase programme with an intention to wind it down completely.