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HINA - IMF forecasts continuation of economic growth in Europe

ZAGREB, Nov 13 (Hina) - Economic growth in Europe is continuing and getting stronger, various risks have evened out but numerous challenges remain, so political decision makers must use this opportunity to start a recovery and reinforce the progress outlook, for which stronger rule of law is essential, according to the International Monetary Fund's autumn forecast on the region presented in Sarajevo on Monday.

The deputy head of the IMF division for Europe, Emil Stavrev, said the strong economic impetus of recent years continued in 2017, prompting the IMF to revise up its earlier forecast.

GDP growth in Europe in 2017 is projected at 2.4%, whereas in 2016 it was 1.7%. In 2018, GDP growth is projected at 2.8%.

Stavrev said economic recovery in Europe had a positive impact on the rest of the world and was not shaken by political shocks such as Brexit, the attempted coup in Turkey and the outcome of last year's US presidential election.

According to IMF analysts, it is important that unemployment rates in many European states are back to the levels before the 2008 global recession, and some even recorded significant salary growths.

Developed European states recorded a 2% salary growth, Stavrev said, adding that in most European Union member states from central and eastern Europe, among which Croatia is included, salary growth was higher than productivity growth.

That element hides one of the mid-term risks, according to the IMF. If such salary growth is not coupled with appropriate productivity, it could threaten the competitiveness of east European countries on the European as well as the global market. Other risks include the ambiguities related to the consequences of Great Britain's exit from the EU as well as the rising protectionist trends and the geopolitical risks.

The IMF's recommendation to the "new Europe" states, those of central and eastern Europe, is to more carefully align the monetary and fiscal policy with structural reforms in order to preserve competitiveness on the market and increase public sector efficiency.

For the EU as a whole, the key recommendation is to strengthen the architecture financially, as the estimate is that it is necessary to simultaneously deal with outstanding issues in the banking sector and implement fiscal rules in the euro area more strictly.

The euro area must complete its architecture, which means rounding off the banking union, strengthening its fiscal capacities in order to withstand shocks, and strengthening the single capital market through stricter implementation of fiscal rules in the euro area, said Stavrev.

(Hina) ha

Agency : HINA

Date : 2017-11-14 09:33:35


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