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Extracts from the press conference by Joaquín Almunia, on Interim Economic Forecasts

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During a press conference, Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, presented the EU interim forecast. Economic growth is expected to slow to 2,00% this year in the European Union and 1.8% in the euro area as some of the downside risks identified in the autumn forecasting exercice -the ongoing financial turmoil, a sharp slowdown in the US and high commodity prices- have materialised. This is 0.4 percentage point less, for both areas, than forecast in November. Inflation this year is expected to average 2.9% in the EU and 2.6% in the euro area following the strong rise in food and energy prices. This is half a percentage point more than compared to the previous forecast. But inflation is expected to return to more normal levels in the last quarter of 2008.
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Type: EbS   Reference: 55802   Date: 21/02/2008   Duration: 00:03:00
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