Press conference by Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC, on the spring economic forecasts
Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport and Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro (pro term), gave a press conference on the 2014 spring economic forecast. They pointed to a continuing economic recovery in the European Union following its emergence from recession one year before. Real Gross domestic product (GDP) growth was set to reach 1.6% in the EU and 1.2% in the euro area in 2014, and to improve further in 2015 to 2.0% and 1.7% respectively. The forecast rested on the assumption that the agreed policy measures would be implemented by Member States and the EU, taking forward the necessary adjustment. The gradual nature of this upturn was in line with previous recoveries following deep financial crises. While financing conditions remained benign on average, substantial differences persisted across Member States and across firms of different size. Labour market conditions started to improve in the course of 2013 and more job creation as well as a further decline in unemployment rates would follow (to 10.1% in the EU and 11.4% in the euro area in 2015). Inflation was expected to remain low, both in the EU (1.0% in 2014, 1.5% in 2015) and in the euro area (0.8% and 1.2%).