Against a backdrop of declining oil prices, accommodative monetary policy and a relatively weak external value of the euro, the economic recovery this year has been resilient and widespread across Member States. It has, however, remained slow.
The impact of the positive factors is fading, while new challenges are appearing, such as the slowdown in emerging market economies and global trade, and persisting geopolitical tensions. Backed by other factors, such as better employment performance supporting real disposable income, easier credit conditions, progress in financial deleveraging and higher investment, the pace of growth is expected to resist the challenges in 2016 and 2017. In some countries, the positive impact of structural reforms will also contribute to supporting growth further.
Overall, euro area real GDP is forecast to grow by 1.6% in 2015, rising to 1.8% in 2016 and 1.9% in 2017. For the EU as a whole, real GDP is expected to rise from 1.9% this year to 2.0% in 2016 and 2.1% in 2017.