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European Commission lowers its growth forecasts amid uncertainty

European media widely cover the EC’s publication of Economic Spring Forecasts, with media commenting both domestic and European figures. According to the EU spring forecasts, the European economy is growing. However, according to European Commissioner for Financial and Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici, after years of crises, the continent’s economic trajectory has been improving continuously but more slowly than expected, SWR Info notes.

The European Commission predicts that growth in the eurozone and the wider European Union will be slightly weaker this year than previously forecast, amid fears that economic slowdowns in China and other emerging markets, geopolitical tensions, and uncertainty ahead of the UK referendum on EU membership could all weigh on the economy, summates the WSJE. The EC now forecasts an increase in euro area GDP of 1.6% and 1.8% in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Commissioner Moscovici said in a statement quoted by the INYT“The recovery in the euro area remains uneven, both between member states and between the weakest and the strongest in society. That is unacceptable and requires determined action from governments, both individually and collectively.” 

The European Union has, however, revised upwards its economic forecast for Greece, the WSJE notes, predicting that GDP would contract by, a lower than expected, 0.3% in 2016. According to Commissioner Moscovici, the recession in Greece in 2016 will be milder than anticipated, while in 2017 the Greek economy is expected to record growth of 2.7%, ANT1 reports. However, for German media, Greece remains the problem child. While an FT editorial welcomes the “grounds for optimism” over the eurozone economy, it also warns that the accompanying lack of inflation raises concerns that this is a self-sustaining recovery.

The European Commission, German media note, therefore expects structural reforms from crisis countries, with Mr Moscovici being particularly concerned about France’s economic development; Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Germany are Europe’s engines of growth, German media stress.

©europeanunion2016

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