Winter 2018 Economic Forecast

Winter 2018 interim economic forecasts: solid and sustainable expansion

Eurozone and EU growth rates exceeded expectations last year as the transition from economic recovery to expansion continues. Both the eurozone 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 Eurozone and the EU.

Growth should remain solid

GDP growth of 2.4% currently estimated for 2017 is above the projections of the November autumn economic forecast of 2.2% for the euro zone and 2.3% for the EU. Growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 have also been raised since November for the 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 momentum in Europe, where labor markets continue to improve and economic sentiment is particularly high, and a stronger than expected recovery in economic activity and world trade.

Strong demand, high capacity utilization and favorable financing conditions should support investment over the forecast horizon.

Inflation outlook remains subdued

Core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food price volatility, is expected to remain subdued as labor market slack recedes only slowly and wage pressures remain contained. Headline inflation will continue to reflect the significant influence of energy prices and is expected to rise 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.

inflation.png

Risks are balanced, with short-term upside risks

Risks to this growth forecast remain broadly balanced. Economic growth could exceed short-term expectations, as indicated by the high level of confidence. In the medium term, high global asset prices could be vulnerable to a reassessment of risks and fundamentals. Downside risks from the uncertain outcome of Brexit negotiations remain, as do those associated with geopolitical tensions and a move towards more inward-looking and protectionist policies.

For the United Kingdom, a purely technical assumption for 2019

Given the ongoing negotiations on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, our projections for 2019 are based on a purely technical assumption of status quo in terms of trade relations between the EU27 and the UK. This is for forecasting purposes only and has no bearing on ongoing talks under the Article 50 process.

Background

This forecast is based on a set of technical assumptions regarding foreign 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 consideration the information until January 30.

From this year, the European Commission will revert to publishing two global forecasts (spring and autumn) and two intermediate forecasts (winter and summer) each year, instead of the three global forecasts of winter, spring and autumn that it has produced every year since 2012.

The interim forecasts 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 reverts to the Commission’s old forecasting model and realigns the Commission’s forecasting schedule with those of other institutions (e.g. European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) .

Economic forecasts by country

Economic forecast documents

European economic forecasts. Winter 2018 (interim)

Winter 2018 Economic Forecast – Overview

English

(304.21 KB – PDF)

To download

Winter 2018 Economic Forecast – Statistical Annex

English

(90.12 KB – PDF)

To download

Winter 2018 Economic Forecast – Statistical Annex

English

(50.67 KB – XLSX)

To download

Thematic boxes on economic forecasts

Winter 2018 Economic Forecast – Some technical elements behind the forecast

English

(114.25 KB – PDF)

To download

Media

Related documents