Growth in the EU is estimated to reach 1.6% of real GDP, while growth in the euro area will hit 1.2% in 2014. There are still large variations among EU Member States, with Latvia set to experience the greatest growth of 3.8% real GDP and Cyprus, currently in the middle of a economic adjustment programme, will see growth decline by 4.8%.
These figures have been estimated based on no policy changes being introduced by individual countries.
Presenting the forecast, Commission Vice President Siim Kallas (replacing Commissioner Olli Rehn on electoral leave) said “Deficits have declined, investment is rebounding and, importantly, the employment situation has started improving”. The unemployment rate for 2014 in the EU as a whole will 10.5%, falling to 10.1% in 2015.
With unemployment falling as a result of job creation, it is important for trade unions to continue to question the quality of work being offered, by ensuring that decent conditions and pay are met and by leading the fight against precarious work and in-work poverty.
The Commissioner also commented on the Portuguese Government decision to exit the EU/IMF programme on 17 May, calling for the government to stay on track with reforms “so as to deliver stronger, more sustainable growth and more and better jobs.