BRUSSELS (AFP) – The EU cut sharply its growth forecasts for the eurozone on Tuesday, warning that France and Italy remain huge problems for the sluggish European economy.
According to the European Commission’s autumn economic forecasts, output in the 18-nation eurozone will grow by only 0.8 per cent this year, instead of the earlier prediction of 1.2 per cent.
The growth outlook for 2015 is also much lower, cut down to 1.1 per cent from an earlier forecast of 1.7 per cent.
While the figures show the eurozone economy avoiding a triple-dip recession for now, they will renew global concerns about its sluggish recovery from the euro debt crisis that nearly sank the single currency three years ago.
“The economic and employment situation is not improving fast enough,” said Jyrki Katainen, the commission’s vice president for jobs and growth in a statement announcing the bleak numbers.