“The EU economy is experiencing an economic slowdown that reflects uncertainties due to trade tensions, and in the event of a downturn, EU Member States should make use of the flexibility provided for in the Stability and Growth Pact to undertake appropriate counter-cyclical fiscal policy”. This was the key message from BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer at the Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting at political level on 7 November. The Macroeconomic Dialogue provides a forum for exchanging views between the European Commission, Council, European Central Bank and social partners. Beyrer also referred to BusinessEurope’s Autumn Economic Outlook released on the same day, noting that BusinessEurope forecasts 1.3% real GDP growth in 2019 for the EU-28 and 1.2% in 2020 (down from 1.6% for 2019 and 1.7% for 2020 in our Spring forecast). The Outlook notes that the big economic question for 2020 will be how fast and with what magnitude the slowdown in export sectors affect the rest of the economy. The newly released Outlook also takes stock of the difficulty of hiring specialists with skills in Information Communication Technology (ICT) that many businesses experience. It concludes that whilst there is evidence that companies are increasing wages considerably for professions where shortages are most acute, we need a response from the educational system to address growing skills imbalances. In the USA the annual number of graduates with a degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has increased by almost 20% since 2013, compared to only a 1% increase in the EU.
Read the press release