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

Nov 10, 2017, 01:01
Βudget surplus, lower public debt and unemployment in Greece — EU Commission

The commission gave an upbeat assessment of prospects in the eurozone area of 19 countries using the single currency, with growth for 2017 marked up "substantially" to 2.2%, compared with 1.7% in the spring.

The euro area economy is set to grow at its fastest pace in a decade this year, with real GDP growth forecast to rise to 2.2 pct, according to the European Commission's Autumn 2017 Economic Forecast.

The current account surplus is forecast to be close to 10% of GDP for 2017, pushed by strong growth in exports, especially service, and a drop in imports related to the contraction in investment.

In its forecasts, the European Commission said growth in 2018 would edge lower to a still strong 2.1 percent, followed by 1.9 percent in 2019.

"We had several major elections; they are now behind us and political uncertainty. has continued to decrease from the high levels experienced a year ago".

Last month the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was starting to wind down the massive bond-buying stimulus program it had driven over the last number of years to help steer the eurozone out of the debt crisis it found itself in.

The International Monetary Fund is expecting United Kingdom growth of 1.7 per cent this year, while the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecasting growth of 1.6 per cent. Greece is set to exit its bailout era, which started in 2010, next summer. Spain's economy is predicted to expand by an impressive 3.1 percent this year, falling back to 2.5 percent and 2.1 percent over the next two years - even without any impact from Catalonia's independence movement, which has prompted Madrid to impose direct rule on the region and arrest many of its leaders.

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.

"We think, at this stage, that the macroeconomic impact is limited, nearly negligible", Mr. Moscovici said of the secessionist move that Madrid has moved to quash.

However, as the European Union eyes economic growth for all its members next year for the first time since 2007, its outlook for the U.K.is souring.

The 28-nation bloc as a whole will grow by 2.3 percent in 2017, up from the 1.9-percent anticipated in the spring. It said growth this year would likely be 2.3 percent, up from 1.9 percent, while next year's would be 2.1 percent, also up from 1.9 percent.

Inflation should average around 1.3% for 2017, slightly below EU-average, contained by a relatively small increase in regulated fuel prices.

Come 2018, there is expected to be a slow-down to 4.9% in real GDP growth, with private consumption expected to become the principle factor behind the growth, based on an increasing population and higher disposable income.

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