Good news from the European Commission!
In its Winter Forecast 2014, published on 25 February, the Commission predicts that Europe’s economic recovery, which began in the second quarter of 2013, is expected to continue spreading across the bloc gaining strength in 2015.
Remarkably, Eastern European economies are leading the EU’s growth table within and outside the Euro area (based on GDP growth); Growth rate in Latvia, a recent member of the Eurozone club, is at 4.2% in 2014, and is expected to further increase to 4.3% in 2015.
Estonia is right behind with growth rate of 2.3% in 2014 and 3.6% growth rate in 2015.
To the south, thanks to the expending car industry, Slovakia is set for 2.3% growth in 2014 and 3.2% in 2015
Out of all Eurozone members, only Cyprus and Slovenia are expected to register negative annual GDP growth rates in 2014. While Slovenia’s rate is at -0.1, Cyprus, whose economy went into recession following the Greek debt crisis, is expected at -4.8%.
Looking at the countries outside the Euro area Lithuania is topping the growth table with an expected rate of 3.5% in 2014, rising to 3.9% in 2015. Poland is coming next with growth at 2.9% this year and 3.1% in 2015.
The report attributes the improving economic outlook in the main trading partners to the surge in domestic demand that increases Polish exports, boosts private investment and the labour market. As a result, the Polish unemployment rate is expected to drop to 10.1% by 2015 from 10.4% in 2013, while the inflation rate is expected to be contained.
Being the EU’s largest emerging economy, improving economic conditions in Poland are good news for the EU.
On the whole, based on the 2014 Forecast, I would say that Europe’s East has a good reason to be pleased, at least from an economic perspective.
Greetings from the European Parliament,
Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg
European economic forecast for 2014 is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/european_economy/2014/pdf/ee2_en.pdf