EU Summer Forecasts: EU Commission slashed 2020 Eurozone GDP growth forecast

Economic growth in the euro zone would slow this year to 1.2% from 1.9% in 2018 the latest predictions from the European Commission suggest

These factors continued to negatively affect the confidence in the manufacturing sector, which is most exposed to worldwide trade, and this is expected to reduce growth prospects for the remainder of the year.

The European Commission lowered its forecast on Wednesday for the euro zone economy next year, saying that uncertainty over US trade policy posed a major risk to the bloc.

France's economy will expand 1.3 per cent this year and 1.4 per cent in 2020, the commission estimated, leaving unchanged its forecast for this year but lowering the estimate for the next, earlier seen at 1.5 per cent.

European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis holds a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 5, 2019.

Strong final demand growth should be reflected in a pick-up in imports of both goods and services in 2019. "Given the numerous risks to the outlook, we must intensify efforts to further strengthen the resilience of our economies and of the euro area as a whole". The GDP forecast for Bulgaria is also unchanged - 3.3% in 2019. and 3.4% for 2020. "Overall, inflation is forecast to remain subdued at 0.9% 2019 and 1% in 2020".

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The commission said consumer prices in Luxembourg rose 2% in 2018 and forecast the rate would be 1.7% this year and 1.6% in 2020. Within the European Union, the approaching departure of the United Kingdom, possibly without a divorce agreement, remains a high risk and therefore a source of uncertainty.

An extended economic confrontation between the U.S. and China, together with the elevated uncertainty around United States trade policy could prolong the current downturn in global trade and manufacturing and affect other regions and sectors, it said. This could have negative repercussions for the global economy including through financial market disruptions.

Touching on tensions in the Middle East, the commission said that they could raise oil prices. Domestically, Brexit remains a major source of uncertainty.

"Slovenia's economic growth reached 4.5% in 2018". Weakness in the manufacturing sector, if it were to endure, and depressed business confidence, could spill over to other sectors and harm labour market conditions, private consumption and ultimately growth. Next year's growth is expected to accelerate to 0.7 percent but remain the slowest in the bloc.

The commission confirmed the economic slowdown in the euro zone was mostly caused by weaker growth in Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, and Italy, its third largest.

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