Moscovici: EU's economic deterioration is moderate

Dienstag, 07. Mai 2019 15:36

"We could do better, but there is no recession," the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs told CNBC on Tuesday. After an update to the European Union's growth outlook, Pierre Moscovici acknowledged the ongoing slowdown but said "deterioration is moderate" and that "fundamentals are solid," with strong growth in some places. He highlighted Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal and Greece, which had to be bailed out during the financial crisis, as bright examples.

Protectionism is a threat to growth worldwide and also in Europe, the member of the European Commission warned. He said the cut in forecasts for Germany and Italy was "no surprise" as that it mirrors projections by their governments. Moscovici added the total increase in gross domestic product is seen at 1.2% for this year and 1.5% for 2020 or just 0.1 percentage points lower than in the February report.

Turning to the 2019 outlook for France's deficit of 3.1% and Italy's of 2.5%, he said there would be no repercussions but that ​Italy has a very high level of debt. It will have to be discussed after the European elections, the commissioner stressed. Conversely, France's gap is expected to drop to 2.2% of GDP next year, compared to the 3% ceiling.

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