Launching BUSINESSEUROPE’s Spring Economic Outlook today, Director General Markus J. Beyrer commented:
“Our latest forecast includes two positive signs: We have indications that consumers are slightly more confident about their future. And companies are increasingly seeking money to finance new investments. But I fear that access to finance will become an increasingly biting constraint once the economy picks up”, Beyrer said.
“The improved outlook is largely a result of fortunate circumstances such as the decline in oil prices and the weaker euro. To maintain a stronger recovery over the long-term, Europe must reduce structural obstacles to investment, competitiveness and growth”, Beyrer added.
Based on a survey of its member federations across the continent, BUSINESSEUROPE’s Economic Outlook predicts:
- GDP growth of 1.9% in the EU in 2015 and 1.6% in the Euro Area (compared to 1.7% and 1.2% in our autumn 2014 Outlook).
- The recovery to slightly strengthen in 2016, when we foresee GDP to grow by 2.1% in the EU and by 1.9% in the Euro Area.
- Domestic demand should gradually replace net exports as the main growth driver. Amidst signs of growing consumer confidence we expect EU private consumption growth of 1.9% in 2015. Businesses are reporting the highest demand for finance since the start of the crisis and we expect investment growth of 2.8% this year.
- While remaining at high levels, unemployment is expected to fall a little; to 9.5% (from 9.8%) in the EU and 10.6% (from 11.3%) in the EA in 2015, and to 9.0% (EU) and 10.1% (EA) in 2016. Country differences still remain high.
- Inflation is forecast to remain low in 2015 but to gradually increase to 1.5% for the EU and 1.2% for the Euro Area in 2016, as the effect of higher import costs and stabilising energy prices work though.
Please find our Economic Outlook here