European Commission expects muted growth

Nov. 29, 2010 at 11:54 AM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The European Commission forecasts economic growth will reach 1.75 percent in the 27-nation European Union through 2011 and 2 percent in 2012.

"A better-than-expected performance so far this year underpins the significant upward revision to annual growth in 2010 compared to the spring forecast," the commission's autumn report said.

The report was released Monday.

It said unemployment is expected to fall to "around 9 percent in 2012." In addition in 2012, the public deficit is expected to fall to "about 4.25 percent of gross domestic product."

"The economic recovery has taken hold," Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said in a statement. "However, this recovery is uneven, and many member states are going through a difficult period of adjustment. A determined continuation of fiscal consolidation and frontloaded policies to enhance growth are essential to set the sound basis for sustainable growth and jobs."

The commission described the upturn as "muted overall."

Future growth will depend on domestic demand with "the contribution of net exports to GDP growth … set to diminish over the forecast horizon," it said.

Employment growth is expected to accelerate, growing "almost 0.5 percent" in 2011 and "around 0.75 percent" the following year.

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