Spring 2010 Economic Forecasts

The Commission issued on 5 May its spring 2010 economic forecasts. The Commission publishes economic forecasts four times a year. The comprehensive spring and autumn forecasts cover some 150 economic variables, including growth, inflation, employment and public budget deficits and debts, for all EU Member States and several large non-EU countries (including the Russian Federation). The smaller, interim forecasts - normally published in February and September - provide a short-term update of GDP and HICP inflation outlook for the largest EU Member-State economies only. The economic recovery is underway in the EU, although it is set to be a gradual one.

The economic recession came to an end in the EU in the third quarter of last year, in large part thanks to the exceptional crisis measures put in place under the European Economic Recovery Plan, but also owing to some other temporary factors. GDP growth is expected to average at about 1% in both the EU and the euro area this year. This represents a modest upward revision compared to the autumn 2009 forecast in light of the improved external environment. GDP growth is expected to regain ground more firmly by the end of 2010 only.

Next year, annual growth rates of about 1?% and 1?% are expected in the EU and the euro area, respectively. As indicated above, one of the non-EU countries covered in the Commission spring and autumn forecasts is the Russian Federation. The Russian economy experienced a contraction estimated at -7.9% in 2009 (after the 5.6% growth in 2008). For Russia, the Commission spring 2010 forecast foresees an almost V-shaped recovery, with growth rebounding to an expected 3.7% in 2010 and to 4% in 2011. 

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№5(44), 2010