DG ECFIN produces economic forecasts on behalf of the Commission. They serve as a basis for various economic surveillance procedures, such as in the context of the European Semester.
The autumn 2013 European Economic Forecast, published on 5th November 2013.
Starting from autumn 2012, DG ECFIN has adapted the economic forecast calendar. The previous schedule of two fully-fledged plus two interim forecasts was replaced by a new timetable with three forecasts, consisting of the usual spring and autumn editions and also, a winter forecast to be published in February. This amendment was made in response to the enhanced fiscal and macroeconomic surveillance of EU Member States introduced as a reaction to the economic and financial crisis. As European Economic Forecasts serve as a basis for various surveillance procedures, the new economic governance architecture also required an adaptation of the scope and frequency of the forecasts.
European Economic Forecasts concentrate on the EU Member States, the euro area and the EU, but also include outlooks for candidate countries as well as some non-EU countries. Each forecast has at least a two-year time horizon (with an additional year added each autumn) including the current year and the next. The forecasts cover about 180 variables and are the result of several iterative rounds.
The forecasts are not based on a centralised econometric model. Instead, they result from analyses made by the DG ECFIN country desks, using models and expert knowledge. The consistency of all individual forecasts is ensured by a number of cross-country and cross-variable checks, in particular with respect to the trade flows. The EU and euro-area variables are not a direct forecast, but are obtained by aggregating the individual Member State forecasts.
The winter 2014 European Economic Forecast is scheduled in February 2014.