Winter 2018 interim economic forecast: solid and sustainable expansion
Eurozone and EU growth rates exceeded expectations last year as the transition from economic recovery to expansion continues. Both the euro area and EU economies are estimated to have grown by 2.4% in 2017, the fastest pace in a decade.
This strong performance is expected to continue in 2018 and 2019 with growth of 2.3% and 2.0% respectively in the euro area and the EU.
Growth should remain solid
GDP growth of 2.4% now estimated for 2017 is higher than in November Fall Economic Forecast projections of 2.2% for the euro area and 2.3% for the EU. Growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 have also been raised since November for eurozone and EU economies: from 2.1% to 2.3% for this year and from 1.9% to 2.0 % for 2019. This is the result of both stronger cyclical dynamics. in Europe, where labor markets continue to improve and economic sentiment is particularly high, and a stronger than expected recovery in global economic activity and trade.
Strong demand, high capacity utilization and favorable financing conditions should encourage investment over the forecast horizon.
Inflation outlook remains subdued
Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and unprocessed food prices, is expected to remain subdued as the labor market slowdown only recedes slowly and wage pressures remain contained. Headline inflation will continue to reflect the significant influence of energy prices and is expected to increase slightly. Inflation in the euro area reached 1.5% in 2017. It is expected to remain at 1.5% in 2018 and increase to 1.6% in 2019.
Risks are balanced, with upside risks in the short term
The risks to this growth forecast remain broadly balanced. Economic growth could exceed short-term expectations, as indicated by the high level of confidence. Over the medium term, high global asset prices may be vulnerable to reassessment of risks and fundamentals. The downside risks associated with the uncertain outcome of the Brexit negotiations remain, as do those associated with geopolitical tensions and a shift towards more inward-looking and protectionist policies.
For the United Kingdom, a purely technical assumption for 2019
In view of the ongoing negotiations on the conditions for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, our projections for 2019 are based on a purely technical status quo assumption in terms of trade relations between the EU27 and the UK. This is for forecasting purposes only and does not affect ongoing talks under the Article 50 process.
This forecast is based on a set of technical assumptions regarding exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices with a cut-off date of January 26, 2018. For all other incoming data, this forecast takes into account information until January 30.
From this year, the European Commission will resume publishing two global forecasts (spring and autumn) and two intermediate forecasts (winter and summer) each year, instead of the three global forecasts for winter, spring and autumn that it has produced each year since. 2012.
The interim forecast will cover annual and quarterly GDP and inflation for the current year and subsequent years for all Member States and the euro area, as well as EU aggregates.
This change is a return to the old Commission’s forecasting scheme and brings the Commission’s forecast timetable back to that of other institutions (for example, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Cooperation and Development. economic development).
Economic forecasts by country
Economic forecasting documents
European economic forecasts. Winter 2018 (interim)
Thematic economic forecasting packages