Eurozone growth to hit fastest in a decade in 2017

The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017

The Brandenburg Gate reflected by a puddle on Pariser Platz Square in Berlin Germany Tuesday Nov. 7 2017

The European Commission on Thursday (9 November) gave an optimistic view of the EU economy, saying that it is "on track to grow at its fastest pace in a decade this year".

The EU economy as a whole is also forecast to beat expectations and reach robust growth rates of 2.3 pct this year (up from growth forecasts of 1.9 pct in the spring).

Macron is now pushing through significant labor reforms in France and hopes around those reforms, combined with his repeated calls for enhanced European economic cooperation and consolidation, have helped push growth expectations for France for 2017 up to 1.6 percent from the earlier 1.4 percent. These are higher growth rates than those published by the Commission in the spring when it predicted that the GDP would grow by 2.9 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year.

Forecasts produced by economists in Brussels said the United Kingdom economy would grow by 1.5% this year rather than the 1.8% pencilled in when the last assessment was made in May.

Hungary's government targets GDP growth of 4.1% this year and 4.3% next year.

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The Commission estimates that the budget deficit this year and next year will be 0.9 percent of GDP, while in 2019 it will be 0.7 percent of GDP.

The EC said growth this year is supported by private consumption and rebounding investment.

Even under a no-change scenario, Britain's economic growth would slump to 1.1% in 2019, making it the slowest growing economy after Italy's 1% expansion, the European Union said. "Growth should remain strong and broad-based this year".

That compares with 0.5% this year, the Commission said.

Private consumption is expected to recover after a weak performance in the first half of 2017, mainly because more residents were in employment.

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"Investment is also picking up amid favourable financing conditions and considerably brightened economic sentiment as uncertainty has faded", it said.

Wages are expected to improve as the increase in labour supply slows down.

While recovery has taken place for 18 uninterrupted quarters, it remains incomplete and atypical, because of its dependence on policy support, the continuing presence of fiscal and financial fragilities stemming from the crisis, and the subdued strength of domestic demand compared to previous recoveries.

In line with robust real GDP growth and a strong labour market, and despite the reduction in taxation worth 0.2% of GDP, tax revenues are expected to continue growing. In the European Union, the unemployment rate is projected at 7.8% this year, 7.3% in 2018 and 7.0% in 2019.

France's debt was still high at 96.9 percent and would remain at that level through 2019.

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The labour market performed better than expected, with the unemployment rate dropping to 21 pct in July, down from an annual average of 23.6 pct in 2016.

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