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EU Commission forecasts the bloc's economic growth will help lower unemployment faster

The European Union's executive arm says the 28-nation bloc's economic recovery is firmly under way and will help bring down high unemployment faster than previously expected.

The EU Commission said Monday it now expects the unemployment rate across the 18 nations using the euro currency to drop to 11.8 percent this year and 11.4 percent in 2015. Its previous forecast foresaw an unemployment rate of 12 percent in 2014 and 11.7 percent for 2015.

Unemployment is now also expected to fall more rapidly for the wider EU, which includes members like Britain that don't use the euro.

The new forecast sticks to the growth target of 1.2 percent in the eurozone this year but slightly revises downward the forecast for 2015 by 0.1 percentage points to 1.7 percent.