European Commission Increases GDP Growth Forecast for Croatia

European Commission Increases GDP Growth Forecast for Croatia

The Commission also raised its growth forecast for next year to 2.1 percent from 1.8 percent.

By 2019, real GDP growth is expected to slow down to 4.1%, with private consumption remaining the main growth driver.

However, Pierre Moscovici, the commissioner for economic and financial affairs, warned that while both the eurozone and the wider European Union are expected to grow in 2018 and 2019, "challenges remain in the form of high debt levels and subdued wage increases".

In its previous forecasts in May, the Commission counted on only a 1.9 percent growth this year and next year.

"After five years of moderate recovery, European growth has now accelerated".

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From 2018, the European Commission will revert to publishing two comprehensive forecasts (spring and autumn) and two interim forecasts (winter and summer) each year, instead of the three comprehensive forecasts in winter, spring and autumn that it has produced each year since 2012.

For the whole European Union, including non-eurozone countries, growth is expected to be a "robust" 2.3 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year - compared to 1.9 percent for both years that was expected in May.

In 2017, the government balance is projected 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. Wage dynamics are still constrained and inflation dampened because of slow productivity growth and a slack in the labour market. The Commissioner added that the recovery in the eurozone is low by historical standards and was "atypical given its dependence on policy support, the continuing presence of fiscal and financial fragilities stemming from the crisis and the relatively subdued domestic demand compared to past recoveries".

Job creation has been sustained and labour market conditions are set to benefit from the domestic-demand driven expansion, moderate wage growth, and structural reforms implemented in some Member States.

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However, the report noted that while the country is experiencing a very low unemployment rate and increasing skill shortages, wage growth has been limited, due to strong increases in labour supply, on the back of inflows of foreign workers.

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

The European Commission forecasts are slightly more pessimistic than other forecasts for the United Kingdom, but given that so far this year, the United Kingdom grew by 0.3 percent in both the first and second quarters, and by 0.4 percent in the third quarter, they don't seem unduly downbeat.

The EC projects the general government deficit will rise to 2.1% of GDP this year and 2.6% in 2018, before falling to 2.3% in 2019.

France's debt was still high at 96.9 percent and would remain at that level through 2019.

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