Friday, 17 November, 2017

France, Spain to make European Union deficit deadline, Italy's debt to fall - Commission

The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017 The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017
Marta Holmes | 10 November, 2017, 01:02

The Spanish deficit could fall to 3.1 percent of GDP this year, down from 4.5 percent in 2016, and the Commission expects it will continue to shrink to 2.4 percent in 2018 and 1.7 percent in 2019.

In its autumn economic forecast, the Commission said the Grand-Duchy's economy would expand by 3.4% this year and then by 3.5% and 3.3% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Only the United Kingdom's growth outlook is nearly the same as Italy's, but Britain was excluded from the EU-28 table for the first time in view of Brexit. In the European Union, the unemployment rate is projected at 7.8% this year, 7.3% in 2018 and 7.0% in 2019.

"The long-lasting moderate expansion has shifted into more robust and long-lasting growth", said Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs.

The commission's figures suggest that by 2019, United Kingdom economic growth will have slowed to just 1.1%, slower than Italy, Spain and Greece. Nonetheless, this was bigger than the 1.8 percent forecast previously.

"The European economy has performed significantly better than expected this year, propelled by resilient private consumption, stronger growth around the world, and falling unemployment", the Commission said in a statement. This trend of imports is expected to continue in 2018 and reverse in 2019.Annual HICP inflation is expected to reach 1.0% in 2017 due to strong domestic demand, higher administrative prices for utilities, and recovery in the prices of energy and commodity prices.

"While market reactions to recent events in Catalonia have remained contained, the risk exists that future developments could have an impact on economic growth", the Commission noted in its reports, adding that the size of the impact "cannot be anticipated at this stage". Overall, inflation is expected to average 1.5% in the euro area this year and is expected to dip to 1.4% in 2018 before climbing up to 1.6% in 2019.

As a effect of the fiscal easing, Romania's structural deficit is forecast to increase from an estimated 2.2% of GDP in 2016 to around 3.3% in 2017 and 4.3% in 2018. Our policies need to remain firmly focused on making growth sustainable and inclusive.

"Business investment is projected to remain subdued following a period of heightened uncertainty, while net export growth is forecast to moderate marginally, in line with export markets".

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.

In October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Romania's real GDP growth is projected to reach 5.5% in 2017 before it decelerates to 4.4% in 2018.

Greece's economy is growing again, and the recovery is expected to strengthen as investment rebounds and consumption rises.

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