European Commission raises Eurozone growth forecast to 1.3 per cent on crumbling oil prices and weak euro

Jessica Morris
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The Eurozone's economic outlook has brightened (Source: Getty)

The European Commission nudged up its official growth forecast for the single currency bloc today, citing crumbling oil prices, a weaker euro and the European Central Bank's (ECB) generous stimulus package unveiled earlier this year.

The Eurozone will grow at a rate of 1.3 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2016, the European Commission said in its winter forecast. This is better than gloomier predictions of 1.1 per cent this year and 1.7 per cent next year, which were initially laid out in November.

It marks the first time in eight years that all Eurozone economies are expected to grow, a brighter outlook for the region which has been battling against stagnation.

Germany, the region's "star economy," is expected to hit 1.5 per cent this year compared with an earlier forecast of 1.1 per cent. Other major Eurozone economies - namely France and Spain - also received upgrades.

Bucking the trend somewhat, the UK's growth is expected to be 2.6 per cent this year, down slightly from an earlier forecast of 2.7 per cent.

Greece's projected growth forecast was lowered to 2.5 per cent for this year, down from 2.9 per cent laid out in November.

"Europe's economic outlook is a little brighter today than when we presented our last forecasts. The fall in oil prices and the cheaper euro are providing a welcome shot in the arm for the EU economy." said Pierre Moscovici, commissioner for economic and financial affairs, faxation and customs.

"Meanwhile, the Investment Plan for Europe and the ECB’s important recent decisions will help create a more supportive backdrop for reforms and smart fiscal policies. But there is still much hard work ahead to deliver the jobs that remain elusive for millions of Europeans," he said.

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