PARIS (AP) -- European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Monday global economic growth this year will be "substantially below" forecasts made only about a month ago.
In a speech in Paris, Trichet said "world and European growth in 2009 will be substantially below the forecasts made at the beginning of December."
Those forecast were for the euro zone economy to shrink by up to 1 percent.
Trichet said that while next year will be "very difficult" there are reasons to believe a rebound could begin in 2010.
Last week the ECB slashed its main interest rate by a half percentage point to 2 percent -- but signaled it would slow the pace of future cuts -- as it sought to protect the 330 million people in the 16 countries that use the euro against a deepening recession.
Earlier Monday, the European Commission forecast that the euro zone will shrink by 1.9 percent in 2009, with the entire EU contracting 1.8 percent.
The commission said 3.5 million jobs will disappear in the EU in the year ahead as business and household spending falls and banks tighten lending.