ECB's Draghi sees gradual H2 recovery in euro zone

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - The European Central Bank expects the euro zone economy to recover gradually in the second half of this year, though this outlook is subject to "downside risks", ECB President Mario Draghi said on Tuesday.

In prepared remarks delivered to the European Parliament, Draghi stuck closely to the outlook he gave after the ECB's policy meeting earlier this month, when he said the central bank was "ready to act" to boost the recession-hit euro zone economy.

"We expect a gradual recovery in the euro area economic activity for the second half of this year, but this scenario is subject to downside risks," Draghi said at a plenary debate at the parliament in Strasbourg.

(Reporting by Gilbert Reilhac in Strasbourg and by Victoria Bryan in Frankfurt; writing by Paul Carrel)