EFN Report Autumn 2015: Economic Outlook for the Euro Area in 2015 and 2016
For the end of this year and for 2016, chances are good that production in advanced economies will continue to expand a bit faster than at trend rates, while growth dynamics in emerging markets economies will not strengthen or even continue to decrease. Since autumn 2014, production in the euro area expands at an annualized rate of about 1.5%. The recovery appears to be broad based, with contributions from private consumption, exports, and investment into fixed capital, although it fell back in the second quarter after a strong increase at the beginning of the year. From a regional perspective, the recovery is as well quite broad based: production is expanding in almost every country, surprisingly and according to official data, including Greece. Structural impediments still limit the ability of the euro area economy to grow strongly: firms and, in particular, private households are only slowly reducing their heavy debt burdens. According to our forecasts, the euro area GDP will grow by 1.6% in 2015 and by 1.9% in 2016. The high increase in the number of refugees in 2015 will, in principle, positively affect private as well as public consumption, but the effect should be below 0.1 percentage points relative to GDP. Our inflation forecast for 2015 is 0.1%. For 2016, we expect that inflation will increase to 1.3%, which is still below the ECB’s target of 2%.