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William De Vijlder, chief economist at BNP Paribas, points out that the European Commission has joined the IMF and private sector forecasters in revising downwards the growth outlook for the eurozone this year.

Key Quotes

“GDP is now expected to grow 1.3% versus a previous forecast of 1.9%. The revision is significant and reflects, amongst other factors, trade tensions, slower foreign growth, in particular in China, Brexit uncertainty.”

“These forecast revisions don’t come as a surprise: after all, survey indicators had been declining for several months in a row.”

“Part of the disappointment of the downward adjustments may come from expectations which simply had risen too high: at the end of 2017, there was increasing concern about a possible gap between soft data (survey indicators) and hard data (GDP).”