Spring 2016 Economic Forecast: Staying the course amid high risks

According to the Spring 2016 Economic Forecast, economic growth in Europe is expected to remain modest as key trading partners’ performance has slowed and some of the so far supportive factors start to wane. As a result, GDP in the euro area is forecast to continue growing at modest rates over the 2015-2017 period. The Commission expects euro area GDP of 1.6% in 2016 and 1.8% in 2017 after 1.7% in 2015. GDP growth in the EU is expected to moderate from 2.0% last year to 1.8% in 2016 before reaching 1.9% in 2017. Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said: “The economic recovery in Europe continues but the global context is less conducive than it was. Future growth will increasingly depend on the opportunities we create for ourselves. That means stepping up our structural reform efforts to address long-standing problems in many countries โ€“ high levels of public and private debt, vulnerabilities in the financial sector or declining competitiveness. A decisive policy action to reform and modernise our economies is the only way to ensure strong and sustainable growth, more jobs and good social conditions for our people.” Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “Growth in Europe is holding up despite a more difficult global environment. There are signs that policy efforts are gradually delivering more jobs and supporting investment. But we have much more to do to tackle inequality. The recovery in the euro area remains uneven, both between Member States and between the weakest and the strongest in society. That is unacceptable and requires determined action from governments, both individually and collectively.” A press release is available in all EU languages. Commissioner Moscovici‘s remarks (including the slides) at the press conference are available online. For further information, please consult the forecast webpage.