Extracts from the press conference by Joaquín Almunia on the spring 2008 Economic Forecasts
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 28/04/2008 First transmission: 28/04/2008
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.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission's building
||General views of the press conference (2 shots)
||Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs saying (in ENGLISH) that the biggest changes in their forecast, when they compare these figures with the previous ones, regards inflation for 2008 for well-know reasons, oil price increases, commodities price increases, food price increases; that inflation is going up to 3.6% in the EU, 3.2% in the euro area this year; that they hope 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.
||Cutaway of press
||Joaquín Almunia saying (in ENGLISH) on the need for structural reforms to counter inflation, that both within the EU and the euro area, and in the world, the poorest and the weakest sectors are suffering more because of inflation; that they need to be concerned not only for economic reasons but also for social reasons; that they need to ask the governments, taking advantage of this forecast exercise, to step up their efforts for adopting and implementing structural reforms that can counter these inflation risks; that all the structural reforms that can improve the situation of the citizens to better protect them against these inflationary risks, will have extremely high social consequences.
||Joaquín Almunia saying (in FRENCH) that in France, the 2007 deficit was worst than predicted by the French authorities and also in their own forecast; that 2.7% was the deficit for 2007; that according to their predictions for growth and impact of the French budgetary and fiscal policies, they imagine that this deficit will go up to 2.9% in 2008; that on the basis of no change in current policies, the deficit in France will likely get up to the 3% meaning that France is getting closer in a dangerous way to the reference value.
||Cutaways (4 shots)