Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

European Union cuts United Kingdom growth forecast as eurozone motors ahead

The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017 The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017
Laurie Berry | 09 November, 2017, 15:23

The EU on Thursday slashed Britain's growth forecast for this year, AFP reported.

With current surveys already suggesting that heightened uncertainty is weighing on business investment in the United Kingdom, the EC report forecast investment growth will weaken in 2018, as many firms are likely to continue deferring investments in the face of uncertainty.

In this scenario the report predicts there will not be a major slowdown or recession but expects "some economic dislocation" in 2019 and that growth would dip under 1 per cent.

The debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to fall to 80.3% at the end of this year, from 82.9% in 2016, and decrease further to 77.4% in 2018 and 74.5% in 2019.

Inflation should average around 1.3% for 2017, slightly below EU-average, contained by a relatively small increase in regulated fuel prices.

The Commission added that its forecasts are based on a "purely technical assumption" that UK-EU trade will continue undisrupted after 2019. "This is for forecasting purposes only and has no bearing on the talks underway in the context of the Article 50 process", the European Commission's forecasts note.

PNG warns it will use force to empty Australia refugee camp
On Sunday the Prime Minister rejected an offer from his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern to resettle 150 asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru.

However, the risk of the United Kingdom losing its position as the main euro-clearing centre, worth some £1.1bn to the economy, could signal a setback which sparks firms to move operations to Europe.

By contrast to the slowing United Kingdom economy, the rest of Europe will continue to grow robustly, carrying on the strong levels of economic expansion seen over the past year or so. "However, net exports are expected to provide some support to growth, and the labour market is projected to show continued resilience".

"Growth has surpassed expectations but is forecast to ease somewhat", the Commission writes.

The European commission enters key Brexit talks with the government with the eurozone economy in its best shape for a decade and activity in the United Kingdom weaker than expected six months ago.

This is according to the latest growth forecasts from the European Commission today. "The European economy has performed significantly better than expected this year, propelled by resilient private consumption, stronger growth around the world, and falling unemployment".

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