Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Euro rises after economic growth forecast revised higher

The European Commission assesses that this year the Croatian economy will grow by 3.2 percent, 2.8 percent next year, and 2.7 percent in 2019.

The European Commission said on Thursday it has raised its projection for Romania's economic expansion in 2017 to a real 5.7% from 4.3% forecast in May, but warned that the government's policy uncertainties could hamper growth.

"Growth in private consumption will be modest and uncertainty will continue to weigh on business investment decisions", Mr. Moscovici said.

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The annual average inflation is expected to be 2.9% in 2017 and accelerate further to 3.0% in 2018.

The European Commission enters key Brexit talks with the eurozone economy in its best shape for a decade and activity in the United Kingdom weaker than expected six months ago.

Real GDP is expected to advance by 1.6 pct in 2017 and 2.5 pct in both 2018 and 2019. Household spending is set to benefit as the labour market continues to strengthen, while strong labour demand in some regions and sectors is expected to put upward pressure on nominal wages. The EC publishes such forecasts three times a year.

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In its Autumn Forecast report, the Commission said Ireland's GDP will then slow to 3.9 percent in 2018 and 3.1 percent in 2019. "Net exports, which performed very well in 2016, are losing momentum as higher domestic demand is fuelling a rise in imports and exports are slowing down", the EC forecast's country section on Bulgaria said.

According to the European Union executive's Winter Economic Forecasts, the eurozone economy will grow by 2.2 percent this year, 2.1 percent next year and at 1.9 percent in 2019. Centrist, pro-European governments kept power in Germany, France and the Netherlands in the wake of a busy election cycle this year, while the European Central Bank opted to maintain its accommodative monetary policies.

The Commission noted the the prospect of Brexit "is already having an impact on economic activity" and insisted that its forecasts for 2019 where based "on a purely technical assumption of status quo in terms of trading relations between the EU-27 and the United Kingdom". Serbia's underlying growth trend remains robust, and exports are seen as staying strong.

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The general government headline deficit is projected to further deteriorate to 3.5% of GDP in 2017 from 3.0% in 2016, due to numerous fiscal easing measures. The main downside risks are external, relating to elevated geopolitical tensions (e.g. on the Korean peninsula), possibly tighter global financial conditions (e.g. due to an increase of risk aversion), the economic adjustment in China or the extension of protectionist policies. The euro zone, meanwhile, is expected to grow by 1.7 per cent this year, an increase of 0.1 percentage points compared to the previous estimate. The commission stressed that its post-Brexit economic forecasts were based on a purely technical assumption of status quo in EU-U.K. trade relations.

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