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Commissions’ Autumn 2015 Economic Forecast

The European Commission published its Autumn 2015 Economic Forecast. The economic recovery in the euro area and the European Union as a whole is now in its third year and should continue at a modest pace next year despite more challenging conditions in the global economy.

Overall, euro area real GDP is forecast to grow by 1.6% in 2015, rising to 1.8% in 2016 and 1.9% in 2017. For the EU as a whole, real GDP is expected to rise from 1.9% this year to 2.0% in 2016 and 2.1% in 2017. GDP is mainly growing due to strengthen domestic demand and private consumption, which is growing as a result of rising nominal incomes and low inflation. Further economic activity should rise across the EU also in 2016 and 2017.

The labour market continues to strengthen at a slow and uneven pace across Member States. In the euro area, employment is expected to grow by 0.9% this year and next, and to pick up to 1% in 2017. In the EU, employment is set to increase by 1.0% this year and 0.9% in 2016 and 2017. Overall, unemployment is expected to continue to decline only gradually, with substantial disparities between Member States. In the euro area, it is forecast to fall to 10.6% next year and 10.3% in 2017 from 11.0% this year, while in the EU as a whole, the forecast shows a fall from 9.5% this year to 9.2% and 8.9% in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The Commission also prepared a economic assessment of the economic impact of the arrival of large numbers of asylum seekers in the EU. According to the Commission, in the short run, additional public expenditure increases GDP, an additional positive impact on growth is expected in the medium term from the increase in labour supply, provided the right policies are in place to facilitate access to the labour market. For the EU as a whole, the growth impact is small, but it can be more sizeable in some Member States.

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said:“The European economy remains on recovery course. Looking to 2016, we see growth rising and unemployment and fiscal deficits falling. Yet the improvements are still unevenly spread: particularly in the euro area, convergence is not happening fast enough. Major challenges remain: insufficient investment, economic structures that hold back jobs and growth, and persistently high levels of private and public debt. These require bold and determined policy responses in 2016, especially in the face of an uncertain global outlook.”

For Slovenia the Commission is predicting an above average GDP growth. For the year 2015 GDP growth should be at 2.6%, followed by 1.9% growth in 2016 and 2.5% in 2017. Employment will be strengthened by 0.6% in 2015, then 0.5% in 2016 and 0.7% in 2017. Consequently, the unemployment rates will decline from 9.4% in 2015 to 9.2% in 2016 and 8.7% in 2017. General government debt will also gradually decline to 78,3 %of GDP in 2017 (down from 84,2 % in 2015).


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