News / Europe

EU Economy Shows Signs of Emerging from Downturn

Cover of European Commission's new economic forecast
Cover of European Commission's new economic forecast
Lisa Bryant

New forecasts show the European Union's economy growing at a faster pace than expected this year, suggesting the region is emerging from the global downturn.  But, there are some hitches - notably the Greek crisis and Britain's high deficit.

Published by the European Commission, the EU executive arm, the new economic forecast predicts growth across the 16-nation eurozone area at 0.9 percent - slightly higher than the 0.7 percent previously predicted.  

Poland and Slovakia are expected to lead the recovery for the 27-member European Union, with their gross domestic product predicted to grow 2.7 percent this year.  The main growth drivers: exports and investments.

EU Economic Commissioner Olli Rehn hailed the good news, but offered some caveats, one of the biggest - the Greek economic crisis.

"This year is certainly good news for Europe," said Olli Rehn. "But we must now ensure that growth will not be derailed by Greece's relative financial instability."

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund recently unveiled a massive bailout package for debt-ridden Greece.  But problems remain, not least Greek anger at government austerity measures.  The country has been shaken by deadly riots amid a nationwide strike.

The European Commission report predicts Athens will bring its deficit down to 9.8 percent of GDP this year - compared to 13.6 percent in 2009.  But Rehn acknowledged that does not appear to have calmed the markets.

"No one can deny there are tensions in the financial markets, but also in the financial markets there is significant overshooting," he said.

Rehn noted that two other shaky economies, Spain and Portugal, were taking steps to consolidate their public finances.  But he said while the Greek case is unique, the fallout of jittery markets could also affect Madrid and Lisbon.

The European report also finds Britain's public deficit level will likely hit 12 percent of its GDP in 2010, gloomy news as the country prepares for national elections.  That will make Britain's public-deficit level the highest among EU  nations.   Britain's debt is also expected to amount to 79.1 percent of its GDP - high, but in line with other EU  nations recovering from the downturn.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid