1. Market Research
Country Forecast Europe June 2018

Country Forecast Europe June 2018

  • June 2018
  • ID: 1697526
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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Political stability




  • Popular disaffection with mainstream parties will persist during the forecast period. Anti-establishment parties formed a government in Italy in May, setting Italy on course for a clash with the EU over immigration and budgets, two issues that are becoming the focus for wider conflicts in the bloc.
  • Six months after the German election, a government was formed in March. A coalition crisis that broke out in June over migration policy reinforces the Economist Intelligence Unit's view that political instability will increase in coming years.
  • In the UK, Brexit outcomes are finely balanced between two scenarios: staying in a customs union and being closely aligned to single-market rules; and a snap election that would probably install a pro-Brexit government that takes a tougher line. The risk of a no-deal Brexit would be greater in the second scenario.
  • Russia will continue to pursue a muscular foreign policy. We expect EU sanctions on Russia to be maintained and for relations to remain difficult.


Economic policy




  • We do not expect the EU to undertake the ambitious reforms advocated by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, which will meet resistance from member states wary of an increase in risk-sharing.
  • Tensions arising from negotiations over the EU's seven-year budget framework for 2021-27 will intensify. We do not expect agreement on the budget framework until after European Parliament elections in May 2019.
  • We expect the European Central Bank to begin normalising monetary policy in 2019, with an increase in the deposit rate, and a rise in the main refinancing rate in early 2020.


Economic growth




  • We forecast average real GDP growth in the EU28 of 1.9% in 2018-22, following estimated growth of 2.5% in 2017.
  • We expect a real GDP growth slowdown in the UK in 2018-19, to 1.5% per year, owing to Brexit uncertainty. Growth will pick up in 2019-22.
  • The EU has responded with retaliatory tariffs to the imposition by the US of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. Germany will aim to avoid an escalation that leads to the US imposing tariffs on European automotive exports.


Business environment rankings




  • The business environment has improved in most European countries as the post-crisis economic recovery has gathered pace. However, fragilities remain.






Euro area: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.


Old EU15: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK.


New EU13: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia.


EU28: EU15 plus EU13.





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