Extracts from the press conference by Olli Rehn on the Spring 2011 economic forecasts
On 13/05/2011, during the press conference in Brussels, Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, presented the European Spring economic forecasts 2011-12.
The EU economy was set to further consolidate its gradual recovery, with prospects for 2011 looking slightly better than projected in the autumn. GDP was projected to grow by around 1¾% this year and by close to 2% in 2012. This outlook was supported by better prospects for the global economy and overall upbeat EU business sentiment. Inflation, however, was rising faster, reflecting the increase in commodity prices. Headline inflation was projected to average almost 3% in the EU and 2½% in the euro area this year, before easing to about 2% and 1¾% respectively in 2012. Meanwhile, labour-market conditions were expected to slowly improve over the forecast horizon. The unemployment rate was projected to fall by ½ percentage point to a little over 9% and to 9 ¾ % in the EU and the euro area by 2012. Fiscal consolidation was progressing, with the public deficit set to decline to about 3¾% of GDP by 2012. The prospects continued to vary considerably for individual Member States, however.