EU Commission: Βudget surplus, lower public debt and unemployment in Greece

10 November, 2017, 01:07 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017

In its autumn forecast, the European Commission (EC) has raised its forecast for Bulgarian GDP growth to 3.9% in 2017 and 3.8% in 2018, up from a projected growth of 2.9% and 2, 8%, the press office of the Ministry of Finance said.

In its regular forecasts for the all European Union economies, the Commission said the economy of the 19 countries sharing the euro would grow 2.2 percent this year, up from 1.8 percent in 2016. GDP growth and inflation are therefore still dependent on policy support. Under a no-policy-change assumption, the euro area general government deficit-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall to 0.8% in 2019 (1.1% in 2017 and 0.9% in 2018), while the debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast to decline to 85.2% (89.3% in 2017 and 87.2% in 2018). The lowest growth will be recorded by Italy and the United Kingdom with only 1.5 percent. A benign external environment is expected to boost net exports, which should thereby contribute to growth this year and the next.

From 2018, the European Commission will revert to publishing two comprehensive forecasts (spring and autumn) and two interim forecasts (winter and summer) each year, instead of the three comprehensive forecasts in winter, spring and autumn that it has produced each year since 2012.

The main reasons for this are positive macroeconomic and labour market conditions, high consumer demand and corporate profits, and money earned through Malta's citizenship scheme.

With the latter in mind, the European Commission revised its growth forecasts for the United Kingdom, cutting projected 2017 growth to 1.5 percent from 1.8 percent and forecasting a further slowing down in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Growth has surpassed expectations according to the European Commission, as private consumption hits high and unemployment numbers gradually fail.

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The commission said the eurozone had enjoyed its best year since the start of the financial crisis a decade ago, having shaken off the debt crisis that gripped the region a couple of years ago.

Irish growth is close to the top of the European Union league with only Malta (5.6 per cent) and Romania (5.7 per cent) growing faster this year.

Domestic demand remains the primary driver of growth. Wage dynamics are still constrained and inflation dampened because of slow productivity growth and a slack in the labour market. Employment is projected to increase by 0.7% in 2017. The eurozone is seen expanding to 2.1% in 2018-still up from a previous expectation of 1.8%-with the growth rate dipping to 1.9% in 2019, when Britain will leave the EU.

Once the labour supply increase becomes more moderate, wage growth is forecast to improve.

United Kingdom growth slowed down this year - to 1.5 percent from 2.3 percent in 2015 and 1.8 percent in 2016 - because higher prices led to lower consumption.

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