Extracts from the press conference by Joaquín Almunia on the spring 2008 Economic Forecasts
At a press conference in Brussels, Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, presented the European spring economic forecast 2008-2009.
Growth in the European Union is expected to ease to 2% in 2008 and 1.8% in 2009 from 2.8% in 2007 (1.7% and 1.5% in the euro area from 2.6% in 2007), according to the European Commission. But consumer price inflation is expected to surge temporarily to 3.6% this year in the EU against 2.4% in 2007 due to soaring energy and food prices, before coming down to an expected 2.4% in 2009 (equivalent figures for euro area are 3.2% and 2.2% versus 2.1% in 2007).
The biggest changes in the forecast, when comparing these figures with the previous ones, regards inflation for 2008 for well-know reasons, oil price increases, commodities price increases, food price increases, the Commissioner told journalists. But the price increases will start to decelerate in the second quarter of this year and in 2009, the average inflation will come down to 2.4% in the EU, 2.2% in the euro area, he added. PHOTOSHOTLISTLINK