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Home NEWS europe situation november 2022

Europe Situation November 2022


After a surprisingly strong first half of the year, the EU economy lost momentum in the third quarter and recent survey data point to a contraction for the winter.

The outlook for next year has weakened significantly. We now forecast the EU economy to grow by only 0.3% in 2023 before a progressive recovery to 1.6% in 2024.

Second, inflation has continued to rise faster than expected, but we believe that the peak is near, most likely at the end of this year. We project headline inflation to reach 9.3% in the EU and 8.5% in the euro area and to decelerate only mildly next year, to 7.0% and 6.1%, before coming down more forcefully in 2024.

Third, the EU labour market remains the bright spot of the EU economy and is expected to show again resilience. The increase in unemployment next year is projected to be moderate before falling again in 2024.

Fourth, we project government deficits to remain above 3% but debt ratios to continue declining.

From in 4.6% - that was the deficit in 2021, the deficit should reach 3.4% this year, 3.6% next year and 3.2% in 2024.

The aggregate debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to fall from  89.4%, which was the figure in 2021 to 84.1% in 2024.

Continuation of demand reduction and supply diversification will ensure that the EU economy avoids major gas shortages over the forecast horizon.

Final assumption is that monetary policy tightening is assumed to continue without inducing disorderly adjustments in financial markets.

As far as growth is concerned, real GDP growth in the first half of the year surprised on the upside. GDP increased at a quarterly rate of 0.7% in both the first and the second quarter. The expansion continued at a weaker pace of 0.2% in the third quarter.

 We expect the EU economy to contract in both the current quarter and the first quarter of 2023. This technical recession is set to be broad-based across demand components but also across countries, with a majority of Member States experiencing two consecutive quarters of contraction.

Energy prices: after soaring to unprecedented levels in late summer, wholesale prices of gas and electricity in the EU have come down significantly in recent weeks. This reflects the successful filling of storage tanks and possibly the recent mild temperatures. Futures prices for 2023 and 2024 have declined as well.

Current gas storage levels appear sufficient to allow our economies to through this winter, but the near absence of Russian gas and difficulty in further expanding LNG imports, also considering infrastructure bottlenecks, will make refilling storages ahead of the winter of 2023/2024 more challenging.

Electricity prices remain highly correlated with gas.

Inflation has kept outpacing wage growth. High inflation is eroding the purchasing power of disposable incomes of households, but also the real value of their wealth.

Growth in the volume of private consumption is thus projected to decelerate sharply from 3.7% in 2022 to 0.1% in 2023, before picking up to 1.5% in 2024.

Investment is also projected to continue to grow, albeit at a more subdued pace next year, under the impact of higher input and labor costs, coupled with rising borrowing costs. These adverse developments are partially mitigated by continued implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is set to sustain public investment, markedly so in some countries.

Finally, weakness in the EU's external environment is expected to persist, providing little support over the forecast horizon.

Economic activity is expected to stabilize in spring next year, before starting to regain some strength, on the back of progressively easing inflation, increasing households' disposable income and abating supply disruptions. But the rebound is set to be subdued, as uncertainty remains high, the negative shock from energy market developments lingers, monetary policy tightens, and external demand recovers only mildly.

For 2023 as a whole, this forecast projects real GDP growth in both the EU and euro area at 0.3%.

In 2024, growth is set to progressively regain traction, averaging respectively 1.6% and 1.5% in the EU and the euro area.

Preliminary data indicate that some Member States already registered a contraction in GDP in the third quarter of this year, and most EU economies are set to see one contraction in the current quarter.



In Poland, economic growth is set to decelerate visibly in 2023 and 2024 and become negative at the beginning of 2023. After strong growth in 2022, the weakening is due to increased uncertainty, a tightening of financing conditions, and the economy's adjustment to higher commodity prices. Overall, the economy is forecast to grow by 4.0% in 2022, 0.7% in 2023 and 2.6% in 2023.



Source European Commission Press  11/11/2022

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