13 Feb 2017
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 13 FEBRUARYBrussels Daily
Winter 2017 Economic Forecast: Navigating through choppy waters
Having proven resilient to global challenges last year, the European economic recovery is expected to continue this year and next: for the first time in almost a decade, the economies of all EU Member States are expected to grow throughout the entire forecasting period (2016, 2017 and 2018). However, the outlook is surrounded by higher-than-usual uncertainty. In its Winter Forecast released today, the European Commission expects euro area GDP growth of 1.6% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018. This is slightly revised up from the Autumn Forecast (2017: 1.5%, 2018: 1.7%) on the back of better-than-expected performance in the second half of 2016 and a rather robust start into 2017. GDP growth in the EU as a whole should follow a similar pattern and is forecast at 1.8% this year and next (Autumn Forecast: 2017: 1.6%, 2018: 1.8%). Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “The economic recovery in Europe continues for the fifth consecutive year. In these uncertain times, however, it is important that European economies stay competitive and able to adapt to changing circumstances. This requires continued structural reform effort. We also need to focus on inclusive growth, ensuring that the recovery is felt by all. With inflation picking up from low levels, we cannot expect current monetary stimulus to last forever. Therefore countries with high deficit and debt levels should continue bringing them down to become more resilient to economic shocks.” Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “The European economy has proven resilient to the numerous shocks it has experienced over the past year. Growth is holding up and unemployment and deficits are heading lower. Yet with uncertainty at such high levels, it’s more important than ever that we use all policy tools to support growth. Above all, we must ensure that its benefits are felt in all parts of the euro area and all segments of society.” The full press release and forecast are available online.
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