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EU Commission: euro area economic forecast, GDP growth remains unchanged in 2019, lowered slightly for 2020

Valdis Dombrovskis

(Brussels) The forecast for euro area GDP growth in 2019 remains unchanged at 1.2%, while the forecast for 2020 has been lowered slightly to 1.4%, following the “more moderate pace” of growth expected in the rest of this year (spring forecast: 1.5%). As for the EU, the forecast remains unchanged at 1.4% in 2019, and 1.6% in 2020. This is according to the European Commission, which released its summer economic forecast today. It is worth noting the “seventh consecutive year of growth”, a trend which has been even “stronger than expected” in the first quarter of 2019, due to a number of “temporary factors”: mild winter conditions and a rebound in car sales, as well as fiscal policy measures, which boosted household disposable income in several Member States. The future, however, is clouded by “global trade tensions and significant policy uncertainty”, which have weakened confidence in the manufacturing sector. The positive outlook is supported by “robust growth in Central and Eastern Europe” which “contrasts with the slowdown in Germany and Italy”, said Commissioner for the Euro Valdis Dombrovskis. A “no-deal Brexit” is also a risk factor for the future, Commissioner Dombrovski recalled. His words were echoed by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who said: “All EU countries are set to grow again in both 2019 and 2020, with the strong labour market supporting demand”, but given the looming risks, we must “intensify efforts to further strengthen the resilience of our economies and of the euro area as a whole”.

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