European Union raises growth forecast for eurozone to decade high

The report suggests a deal could be completed by November 2018

The report suggests a deal could be completed by November 2018

The European Commission (EC) has raised its projections for GDP growth in Hungary to 3.7% for this year and 3.6% in 2018 in a forecast released Thursday, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

According to its Autumn Forecast, the Commission predicted growth to continue in both the euro area and in the European Union at 2.1 percent in 2018 and at 1.9 percent in 2019.

The outlook was positive for Spain despite the crisis over Catalonia, with its growth foreacast upgraded to a robust 3.1 percent for this year, leading the eurozone's major economies.

The general government deficit is projected to fall to 0.4 per cent of GDP in 2017, an improvement of 0.4 percentage points net of one-offs compared with the previous year's deficit and reflecting the sustained pace of economic growth.

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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. It is expected to continue to expand at an average rate of 4 per cent over the next two years. Malta is the best performer, with growth of 5.6% in 2017, 4.9% in 2018 and 4.1% in 2019. This trend of imports is expected to continue in 2018 and reverse in 2019.Annual HICP inflation is expected to reach 1.0% in 2017 due to strong domestic demand, higher administrative prices for utilities, and recovery in the prices of energy and commodity prices.

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

"The government's fiscal stimulus this year - supported by stronger exports, a significantly depreciated Turkish lira in comparison with last year and a strong boost from public finances and other policy incentives, meant to restore confidence in the Turkish economy", the bloc's economic report said.

"Investment is also picking up amid favourable financing conditions and considerably brightened economic sentiment as uncertainty has faded", it said.

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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. Public finances remain on track to meet the primary surplus targets agreed under the ESM programme.

Wage growth grew moderately for the first half of 2017, even though the unemployment rate was very low, and skill shortages increased.

In 2017, private investment will be mainly driven by the satellite and aircraft industry, while growth of construction investment is forecast to remain robust throughout the forecast horizon, the report states. Unemployment in the euro area is expected to average 9.1% this year, its lowest level since 2009, as the total number of people employed climbs to a record high. Core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food prices, by contrast, has been rising but remains subdued, reflecting the impact of a prolonged period of low inflation, weak wage growth as well as remaining labour market slack.

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