Fri, May 12, 2017 - Page 10 News List

European Commission raises growth outlook in spite of ‘high uncertainty’

AFP, BRUSSELS

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici gestures while speaking at a news conference in Brussels yesterday to present the EU spring economic forecast.

Photo: EPA

The EU yesterday raised its growth forecast for the eurozone, saying the economic recovery was gaining strength despite the elevated uncertainties of Brexit and the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump.

The forecast said the positive outlook came in large part thanks to an improving global economy, with the US and China lifting Europe.

However, the commission said in its statement that the “uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook remains elevated.”

The 19-country eurozone is expected to grow by 1.7 percent this year followed by 1.8 percent next year, the European Commission said in its spring economic forecast.

That is compared with predictions made in the winter of 1.6 percent growth this year and 1.8 percent for next year.

The protectionist stance on world trade by the Trump administration, Britain’s divorce from the EU and the fragility of European banks could all negatively impact the future of the economy, the commission said.

The 28-nation bloc as a whole would grow by 1.9 percent in both this year and next year, the commission said.

“It is good news too that the high uncertainty that has characterized the past 12 months may be starting to ease. But the euro area recovery in jobs and investment remains uneven,” European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici said.

Souring the mood, bailed-out Greece, which swung out of recession last year, but is now at the center of fresh fears for the eurozone, saw its growth forecast cut sharply to 2.1 percent this year and 2.5 percent for next year.

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