European Union autumn forecast 2017: looking good

The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017

The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017

In a regular forecast for all European Union economies, the Commission said the French budget deficit would fall to 2.9 percent of GDP this year from 3.4 percent in 2016 - making the 2017 deadline set by the European Union for the gap to shrink below 3 percent.

In its half-yearly health check, the commission sharply cut its forecast for United Kingdom growth this year and said it was likely to continue struggling in 2018 and 2019 even on the assumption that trade would not be disrupted by its departure from the EU.

The Turkish economy is also expected to grow 4.1 percent in 2019. The commission projected headline inflation to slow to 1.4 percent in 2018 and to tick slightly higher to 1.6 percent in 2019.

This repeated last year's pattern, when the EC repeatedly revised its estimate for Bulgaria upwards and, in the end, the actual gross domestic product growth figure ended up exceeding the final forecast by 0.1 percentage point, reaching 3.4 per cent growth.

The Commission also said that the French deficit this year would fall under the EU's limit of 3.0 percent of annual GDP.

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"Economic growth in the United Kingdom has been slowing since the start of the year, as higher consumer prices constrained private consumption growth", the commission report said.

The closure of the second review in June 2017, together with the stronger-than-expected growth in the euro area and a favourable tourist season, are expected to strengthen the economy in the remainder of the year.

The government 2017 balance is expected to remain in surplus at 0.9% of GDP.

Irish growth is close to the top of the European Union league with only Malta (5.6 per cent) and Romania (5.7 per cent) growing faster this year.

That compares with 0.5% this year, the Commission said.

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"The European economy has performed significantly better than expected this year, propelled by resilient private consumption, stronger growth around the world, and falling unemployment", the Commission said in a statement. The economies of all Member States are expanding and their labour markets improving, but wages are rising only slowly.

"We see good news on many fronts, with more jobs being created, rising investment and strengthening public finances", said Moscovici, who also highlighted concerns over high debt levels and a lack of wage growth.

While recovery has taken place for 18 uninterrupted quarters, it remains incomplete and atypical, because of its dependence on policy support, the continuing presence of fiscal and financial fragilities stemming from the crisis, and the subdued strength of domestic demand compared to previous recoveries.

Despite the pick up in growth, Europe's unemployment rate is expected to be 8.5% next year - double the rate in the UK.

Once the labour supply increase becomes more moderate, wage growth is forecast to improve.

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