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EU Commission: Βudget surplus, lower public debt and unemployment in Greece

10 November, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017

The Commission said the euro area economy is on track to grow at its fastest pace in a decade this year, with real GDP growth forecast at 2.2 percent, adding that the European Union economy as a whole is also set to beat expectations with robust growth of 2.3 percent this year.

According to its Autumn Forecast released today, the European Commission expects growth to continue in both the euro area and in the EU at 2.1% in 2018 and at 1.9% in 2019 (Spring Forecast: 2018: 1.8% in the euro area, 1.9% in the EU).

For 2019, the commission projected 1.9 percent expansion.

The Commission had previously forecast growth for the year of 1.7 percent, but its autumn economic outlook sharply revises the figure on the back of surprisingly strong GDP growth figures announced for the third quarter last month.

"After five years of moderate recovery, European growth has now accelerated".

The EC also forecast 3.8 per cent growth for Bulgaria in 2018 (up from 2.8 per cent in the spring forecast) and 3.6 per cent in 2019.


Even under a no-change scenario, Britain's economic growth would slump to 1.1% in 2019, making it the slowest growing economy after Italy's 1% expansion, the European Union said. "The deficit should remain stable, but the structural balance could worsen", said the European Commission. "It is expected that there will be some weakening of consumption at the end of the forecast period when higher inflation will reduce real household disposable income and slow down employment growth", the EC said in its report. The Commissioner added that the recovery in the eurozone is low by historical standards and was "atypical given its dependence on policy support, the continuing presence of fiscal and financial fragilities stemming from the crisis and the relatively subdued domestic demand compared to past recoveries". Wage dynamics are still constrained and inflation dampened because of slow productivity growth and a slack in the labour market. Our policies need to remain firmly focused on making growth sustainable and inclusive.

Domestic demand remains the primary driver of growth.

"Consumption growth is projected to be modest, in line with weak real wage growth, while uncertainty continues to weigh on business investment".

"Thereafter, the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to marginally decline to 130.8% in 2018 and to 130.0% in 2019, mainly due to stronger nominal growth".

The Commission expects a gradual rebound of investment from the second half of the year.

The labour market performed better than expected, with the unemployment rate dropping to 21 pct in July, down from an annual average of 23.6 pct in 2016. The eurozone is seen expanding to 2.1% in 2018-still up from a previous expectation of 1.8%-with the growth rate dipping to 1.9% in 2019, when Britain will leave the EU.

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