Friday, 7 May 2010

EU Commission forecast

Paul Sweeney: The European Commission today published its economic forecast for the European Economy including the Eurozone members (different colour on the linked map) for this and next year. It is a positive but guarded outlook for Europe.

On the map in the link you can see how each country has done in 2008 and ‘09, and is projected to do this and next year. The data covers growth (GDP), inflation, unemployment, the deficit and the current account balance.

Ireland is the worst performer by most, though not all, measures. Our unemployment has soared from just over 4% to 13.4% these days. It has “stabilised”, they say, happily? This rate is substantially less than Spain. Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia. But this is thanks to mass flight from the country and many staying at home and in education.

The Commission says that “The economic recovery is underway in the EU, although it is set to be a gradual one.” It says that the recession technically came to an end in the EU in the third quarter of last year. However, it also says that this was largely due “to the exceptional crisis measures put in place under the European Economic Recovery Plan,” but also owing to some other temporary factors.

The Commission says “the speed of recovery is forecast to increasingly vary across EU countries, reflecting the extent of the housing-market correction needed (massive in our case!), the size of the financial-services sector (also super massive in our case) and the degree of internal and external imbalances (not so good either)".

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