Leading rating agency offers gloomy euro-outlook as conditions "nosedive"

It claims that Europe is experiencing a "one engine" recovery

Leading rating agency offers gloomy euro-outlook as conditions "nosedive"

Michael Probst / AP

Rating agency Standard and Poor's has cut its forecast for economic growth and inflation in the eurozone, citing a deterioration in economic conditions.

S&P now expects the eurozone economy to grow by 1.5% this year - down from growth of 1.8% predicted in November of last year.

It also made a significant adjustment to its inflation projection, down from 1.1% to only 0.4%. The agency's expected inflation for 2017 has also been cut from 1.5% to 1.4%.

S&P's chief European economist Jean-Michel Six said that the revisions come as "A nosedive in financial conditions at the start of the year has taken some wind out of the euro zone economy."

Perhaps more worryingly he has also raised concerns about the ability of the ECB to stimulate the bloc:

"In addition, we stress that central bank actions are having a diminishing impact on inflation and growth prospects," he said.

In an interview with CNBC the economist likened the eurozone as a plane "flying on one engine" and "fighting for altitude" - with the one engine being robust consumer demand. Consumption has increased as unemployment has fallen and interest rates have remained low.