The European Commission upped its forecast for economic growth in the European Union and the 16-member euro zone in 2010, based on strong growth in industrial exports.

The commission said that the 27-member EU would probably grow by 1.8% in 2010, compared with an earlier forecast of 0.9%, The Wall Street Journal reported. The commission forecast growth of 1.7% for the euro zone, compared with an earlier forecast of 0.9%.

Strong second-quarter growth, driven by a vigorous recovery in Germany's exports, will help lift the annual figures, the commission said. Still, growth in the second half of 2010 is unlikely to match that of the second quarter.

"The global economy is still expected to go through a soft patch in the second half of the year, implying a dampening effect on EU export growth," the commission said.

The commission said it does not expect a so-called double dip recession.

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