Autumn 2015 Economic Forecast: Moderate recovery despite challenges

Today Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has presented the 2015 Autumn Economic Forecast of the European Commission. The economic recovery in the euro area and the European Union as a whole is now in its third year. It should continue at a modest pace next year despite more challenging conditions in the global economy. Against a backdrop of declining oil prices and a relatively weak external value of the euro, the economic recovery this year has been resilient and widespread across Member States. It has, however, remained slow. Overall, euro area real GDP is forecast to grow by 1.6% in 2015, rising to 1.8% in 2016 and 1.9% in 2017. For the EU as a whole, real GDP is expected to rise from 1.9% this year to 2.0% in 2016 and 2.1% in 2017. Vice-President Dombrovskis said: “Today’s economic forecast shows the euro area economy continuing its moderate recovery. Growth is largely backed by temporary factors such as low oil prices, a weaker euro exchange rate and the ECB’s accommodative monetary policy. The euro area has shown resilience to external developments, such as the slowdown in world trade, and this is encouraging. Sustaining and strengthening the recovery requires taking advantage of these temporary tailwinds to pursue responsible public finances, boost investment and carry out structural reforms to enhance competitiveness. This is important, particularly against the backdrop of a slowing global economy, continuing tensions in our neighbourhood and the need to manage the refugee crisis decisively and collectively.” Commissioner Moscovici added: “The European economy remains on recovery course. Looking to 2016, we see growth rising and unemployment and fiscal deficits falling. Yet the improvements are still unevenly spread: particularly in the euro area, convergence is not happening fast enough. Major challenges remain: insufficient investment, economic structures that hold back jobs and growth, and persistently high levels of private and public debt. These require bold and determined policy responses in 2016, especially in the face of an uncertain global outlook.” A press release is available in all EU languages. For more information, please consult the European Economic forecast webpage. Commissioner Moscovici’s presentation (including the slides) is also available online.