Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

EU hails growth but warns of uncertainty in UK over Brexit

EU hails growth but warns of uncertainty in UK over Brexit

But Ireland's growth could be hampered by "external risks", mainly reflecting policy uncertainty and risks to the global economic outlook.

Souring the mood, bailed-out Greece, which swung out of recession previous year, saw its growth forecast cut sharply to 2.1 percent in 2017 and 2.5 percent in 2018.

In its spring economic forecasts, the EC left its growth forecast for 2017 and 2018 for Italy unchanged with respect to the winter ones, with GDP expected to rise 1.1% next year.

Although the Commission did not anticipate that the unemployment rate would change much from its current level just below five per cent, jobs would increase by 2.9 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

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The EU expects Serbia's economic expansion to accelerate, forecasting the country's GDP growth rate to be 3.2 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018.

The commission sees the 19-nation economy expanding 1.7 percent this year - up from 1.6 percent forecast in February - and growing 1.8 percent in 2018.

"It is good news. that the high uncertainty that has characterised the past twelve months may be starting to ease".

That is compared with predictions made in the winter of 1.6 per cent growth in 2017 and 1.8 per cent in 2018. The commission forecasts a slow inflation recovery due to "upward pressure from the services sector including rapidly increasing residential rents, related to the limited supply of residential property".

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All of which is welcome news for oil traders after last week's plunge in prices that came on the back of worries about rising US, Nigeria and Libya output, and a slowdown in key market China.

It also said that the country's public finances are projected to improve but risks to the fiscal outlook remain.

Meanwhile, the Commission today raised its growth forecast for the euro zone as a whole. However, it had previously predicted a deficit of 2.9 percent this year, and 3.1 per cent next year.

France's deficit will be 3 percent of GDP this year, from 2.9 percent previously forecast, and 3.2 percent in 2018 from the previous forecast of 3.1 percent. In the euro area, the government deficit to-GDP ratio is forecast to decline from 1.5% of GDP in 2016 to 1.4% in 2017 and 1.3% in 2018, while in the European Union the ratio is expected to fall from 1.7% in 2016 to 1.6% in 2017 and 1.5% in 2018.

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