Slight Growth Expected in the EU for 2013

"A recovery is in sight," is how Olli Rehn, Commission Vice President responsible for the economy, summarised the EU spring report released on 11 May 2012. Nevertheless the economic situation remains fragile since, as Rehn noted, the position of various member states differs.

The EU Commission considers the current recession mild. The actual gross domestic product (GDP) in the EU will stagnate in 2012 and actually decrease by 0.3 percentage points in the Eurozone. But the GDP is already expected to grow again by 1.3 percent for the EU in 2013 and one percent for the Eurozone. Yet employees are unlikely to reap much of a benefit. The report expects ongoing average unemployment of ten percent in the EU, and even one percent more for the Eurozone.

On the other hand, the commission does not see a risk of inflation. The effects of the oil price increase and rising indirect taxes in particular are expected to decrease, so that the commission expects the rate of consumer price increases to fall to 1.8 percent in 2013.

New government debt is expected to continue declining, with a reduction to three percent in the Eurozone and 3.3 percent in the member states in 2013. Rehn comments: "We are currently seeing a correction of budget policy and structural imbalances, which developed before and after the onset of the crisis and were exacerbated by the ongoing restrained economic outlook."

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