European commission slashes eurozone growth forecasts

Fall in confidence, weak investment and increasingly bleak outlook for global economy take toll on single currency bloc

The European commission has slashed its forecasts for eurozone growth this year and next and warned there would be no magic bullet to turn around its fortunes.

The EC cut its forecast for growth in 2014 to 0.8% from a previous forecast of 1.2%. It expects growth in 2015 to be 1.1%, and not 1.7% as it stated previously.

Waning confidence, heightened geopolitical risks, weak investment, and a deteriorating outlook for the global economy were weighing on the single currency bloc, it added.

Pierre Moscovici, commissioner for economic and financial affairs, said: “There is no single, simple answer to the challenges facing the European economy. We need to act across three fronts: for credible fiscal policies, ambitious structural reforms and much-needed investment, both public and private. We must all assume our responsibilities, in Brussels, in national capitals and in our regions, to generate higher growth and deliver a real boost to employment for our citizens.”

The German economy is expected to grow by 1.3% this year and just 1.1% in 2015.

European commissioner Jyrki Katainen said the country could still play a significant role in stimulating the wider economy. “However, we can’t just rely on one growth engine. We need several,” he added.

The UK is expected to grow by 3.1% this year and 2.7% next year. Ireland is expected to be the fastest-growing EU economy in 2014, with growth of 4.6%. Eurozone inflation is forecast to remain low in 2014, at 0.5%, before rising to 0.8% in 2015 and 1.5% in 2016.

Contributors

Angela Monaghan and Graeme Wearden

The GuardianTramp

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