After years of economic troubles, an end to the euro-zone crisis is finally visible, but there is still plenty of pain to come, according to a new forecast.
The second half of the single currency region's double-dip recession will remain "relatively shallow," but its recovery will be "long and laborious," according to Ernst & Young, one of the world's largest professional-services firms. The company's quarterly euro-zone forecast predicted that gross domestic product growth in the euro zone will shrink by 0.4 percent in 2013, followed by "anemic" growth of around 1.3 percent annually between 2014 and 2016.
"Although there are some positive indicators for the euro zone this is just the beginning of the road," Marie Diron, senior economic adviser to the forecast, said.
"Further steps to complete frameworks for both a banking and fiscal union, the introduction of some form of eurobond and the full implementation of the Growth Pact should help to begin to restore confidence although they are unlikely to alter prospects for demand and growth in the short term."
This is in-line with forecasts from the European Central Bank (ECB), which last week cut its predictions for growth in euro zone GDP to between minus-0.9 percent and 0.3 percent.
Interest rates will remain at their current historic low of 0.75 percent until 2017, the report suggests. This may fuel fears that the euro zone will end up following Japan into a low-growth, low-interest rate environment.