European Union raises growth forecast for eurozone to decade high

BRITAIN-EU-POLITICS-COURT-BREXIT

BRITAIN-EU-POLITICS-COURT-BREXIT

The European Commission said in its autumn economic forecast on Thursday that "Italy's economic recovery accelerated in 2017, supported by external and domestic demand, but fading tailwinds and lower medium-term growth prospects are expected to moderate growth".

Spain, which has a deadline for a deficit below 3 percent set for next year, will bring it down to 3.1 percent this year from 4.5 percent in 2016 and then cut it to 2.4 percent in 2018, the Commission forecast. The EC has forecast growth of 1.6 percent for Greece this year, with rates of 2.5 percent expected in both 2018 and 2019.

While the overall outlook was positive, the European Union executive's main areas of concern center on continuing geopolitical tensions between the USA and North Korea, issues within the Chinese economy, particularly around protectionism, and of course, the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations. For the next two years, the Commission forecasts decrease in employment growth to 0.4% and 0.3% due to limited labour supply.

The European economy has performed significantly better than expected, mainly due to resilient private consumption, stronger growth around the world, and falling unemployment.

"Growth in private consumption will be modest and uncertainty will continue to weigh on business investment decisions", Mr. Moscovici said.

In line with robust real GDP growth and a strong labour market, and despite the reduction in taxation worth 0.2% of GDP, tax revenues are expected to continue growing.

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Regarding inflation, the Commission expects that robust domestic demand, additional wage hikes in a tight labour market and additional fiscal stimulus will gradually drive inflation rate upwards and make it re-enter the Romanian central bank's target band of 2.5%±1 pp. The economy would slow even further to 1.3 percent in 2018, followed by 1.1 percent in 2019.

"Buoyant revenue growth underpinned by strong underlying economic growth will be outpaced by growth in government expenditure, especially still-high spending for infrastructure investment", it said.

Financial sector growth strengthened in the first half of 2017, underpinned by the euro area's recovery.

The Commission noted the the prospect of Brexit "is already having an impact on economic activity" and insisted that its forecasts for 2019 where based "on a purely technical assumption of status quo in terms of trading relations between the EU-27 and the United Kingdom".

In 2016, Romania's economy grew by 4.8% year-on-year, compared to a revised growth rate of 3.9% in 2015. The Commission's autumn forecasts published today in Brussels are similar to those released earlier by the Croatian government, reports Jutarnji List on November 9, 2017.

"This is for forecasting purposes only and has no bearing on the talks underway in the context of the Article 50 process".

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