EU Expects Slower Growth in 2019
February 7, 2019
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, cut its economic growth forecast for the year, predicting just a 1.3 percent increase in 2019. This is down from November’s 1.9 percent forecast. The forecast comes after a rocky end to 2018, which saw violent protests in France, instability in Italy, and a slowdown in Germany, the area’s industrial powerhouse. Projections for Italy’s growth saw the steepest decline. The forecast was cut by a full percentage point, with the commission expecting just 0.2 percent growth for the year.
The commission attributed the muted projections to external factors, citing slower global trade growth and increased uncertainty regarding trade deals, but they also pointed to domestic factors, such as Brexit, social tensions and budgetary concerns for member nations.