European Commission forecasts second-highest growth for Ireland in EU next year

Ireland's economy will see the second largest growth in the European Union next year.

That is according to the European Commission, who has forecast growth of 4.5%.

Malta is set to grow the most, at 4.9%, while the UK will see the least growth at just 1.2%.

The commission's Autumn 2018 Economic Forecast also says that this projection is based on current trading relations remaining between the EU and the UK.

Overall, growth in the Euro area is forecast to ease from a 10-year high of 2.4% in 2017 to 2.1% in 2018 - before moderating again to 1.9% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020.

The same pattern is expected for the EU27, with growth forecast at 2.2% in 2018 and 1.9% in 2020.

The European Commission says last year's "exceptionally benign" global situation helped to underpin strong economic activity and investment in the EU.

"Despite a more uncertain environment, all member states are forecast to continue growing, though at a slower pace, thanks to the strength of domestic consumption and investment.

"Barring major shocks, Europe should be able to sustain above-potential economic growth, robust job creation and falling unemployment.

"However, this baseline scenario is subject to a growing number of interconnected downside risks."

Rising global uncertainty, international trade tensions and higher oil prices will all have a dampening effect on growth.

However, unemployment continues to fall.

The commission says: "Labour market conditions continued to improve in the first half of 2018, with employment growth remaining steady even as economic growth cooled.

"Job creation is set to continue to benefit from continued growth and structural reform implementation in some member states.

"Unemployment should continue to fall but at a slower pace than in the past, as employment growth is eventually dampened by increasing labour shortages and slower economic growth."

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