EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 07 FEBRUARY

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 07 FEBRUARY
07 Feb 2019

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 07 FEBRUARY

Brussels Daily

Winter 2019 Economic Forecast: growth moderates amid global uncertainties

The Winter 2019 Economic Forecast published today shows that the European economy is expected to grow for the seventh year in a row in 2019, with expansion forecast in every Member State. The pace of growth overall is projected to moderate compared to the high rates of recent years and the outlook is subject to large uncertainty. Euro area GDP is now forecast to grow by 1.3% in 2019 and 1.6% in 2020 (Autumn Forecast: 1.9% in 2019; 1.7% in 2020). The EU GDP growth forecast has also been revised down to 1.5% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020 (Autumn Forecast: 1.9% in 2019; 1.8% in 2020). Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “All EU countries are expected to continue to grow in 2019, which means more jobs and prosperity. Yet our forecast is revised downwards, in particular for the largest euro area economies. This reflects external factors, such as trade tensions and the slowdown in emerging markets, notably in China. Concerns about the sovereign-bank loop and debt sustainability are resurfacing in some euro area countries. The possibility of a disruptive Brexit creates additional uncertainty. Being aware of these mounting risks is half of the job. The other half is choosing the right mix of policies, such as facilitating investment, redoubling efforts to carry out structural reforms and pursuing prudent fiscal policies. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “After its 2017 peak, the EU economy’s deceleration is set to continue in 2019, to growth of 1.5%. This slowdown is set to be more pronounced than expected last autumn, especially in the euro area, due to global trade uncertainties and domestic factors in our largest economies. Europe’s economic fundamentals remain solid and we continue to see good news particularly on the jobs front. Growth should rebound gradually in the second half of this year and in 2020.” The full press release is available in all languages here. The full Winter 2019 Economic Forecast is available here. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 58615)

Commissioner Malmström to take part in seventh Expert Group on EU Trade Agreements

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström will today participate in the first 2019 meeting of the Expert Group on EU Trade Agreements. The group brings together trade policy specialists from 28 organisations representing various interest groups, including employers’ organisations, trade unions, representative associations, socio-economic interest groups (like consumer associations) and other civil society organisations. The meeting will be an opportunity to revisit the issues of EU-US trade relations and reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the presence of the Commissioner. The group had previously discussed both issues in September 2018. The expert group was set up in December 2017 to step up Commission’s engagement on trade policy making with the full range of stakeholders and civil society representatives. A report of the meeting will be published in the following days. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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