European Commission’s spring forecast for the EU economy, released on May 5, raised the economic growth estimate in the 28-country bloc, crediting low oil prices and the continued depreciation of the common European currency, as well as “supportive” economic policies by the EU, as the main factors.
The latest figures revised the estimated economic growth at 1.8 per cent in the EU as a whole in 2015, up from 1.7 per cent in the winter forecast released in February, while the euro area is expected to grow by 1.5 per cent, rising from 1.3 per cent in the earlier report.
Economic and monetary affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that “the European economy is enjoying its brightest spring in several years, with the upturn supported by both external factors and policy measures that are beginning to bear fruit.”
But he also warned that “more needs to be done to ensure this recovery is more than a seasonal phenomenon. Delivering on investment and reforms and sticking to responsible fiscal policies are key to obtaining the lasting jobs and growth Europe needs.”
In Bulgaria’s case, the Commission re-iterated its earlier view that the country’s economic growth will fall short of the 1.7 per cent recorded last year, but increased its overall growth estimate in 2015 to one per cent, or 0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous forecast.
After benefitting from low inflation and the fall in fuel prices towards the end of 2014, private consumption in Bulgaria was expected to slow down in 2015 in line with weak wage and employment growth, the EC said in its country forecast.
Public investment was expected to decline because implementation of EU co-funded projects in the new programming period would take time, but net exports were expected to “contribute positively” to growth.
The Commission said that risks to Bulgaria’s growth were balanced, but cautioned that ” both consumer and business sector confidence remains fragile and could deteriorate in case of further signs of instability in the financial sector.”
(Photo: Alessandro Paiva)