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European Economic Forecast – Autumn 2013

European Commission, (2013), European Economic Forecast – Autumn 2013, Brussels: European Commission.

The EU economy has returned to positive GDP growth. Following a slow and still vulnerable expansion of economic activity during the remainder of 2013, growth is set to become gradually more domestic demand-driven and more robust in the course of 2014 and into 2015. The legacy of the crisis-deleveraging, financial fragmentation, elevated uncertainty and rebalancing needs – will continue weighing on growth. Its impact is however expected to gradually subside over the forecast horizon as progress is made with the correction of the accumulated macroeconomic imbalances, and domestic demand is expected to take over as the main engine of growth. External demand is expected to pick up over the coming quarters, but less than earlier expected, on account of a weakened outlook for growth in emerging market economies and the appreciation of the euro. Reflecting the carry-over from the weakness of economic activity last winter, GDP in annual terms is expected to remain unchanged in the EU and contract by ½% in the euro area in 2013. Next year, economic activity is projected to expand by 1½% in the EU and 1% in the euro area before accelerating to 2% and 1¾%, respectively, in 2015. Only a very modest improvement of the labour-market situation is expected over the forecast horizon.

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