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Macroeconomic policy / 'Economic Outlook'

The Economic Outlook is our twice-yearly review of recent economic developments and projection of future economic developments. It is based on input from our member federations across Europe.

Our Autumn 2018 Economic Outlook highlights that despite the recent slowdown, businesses still expect EU growth to proceed above its long-term rate.

  • We expect EU growth of 2.2% for 2018 and 2.0% for 2019, a slight downward revision of -0.2 pp and -0.1 pp from our spring projections.
  • Skills shortages are an acute concern for employers and limit growth, even in member states with still relatively high unemployment, as digitalisation is rapidly increasing the demand for skilled technical workers.
  • Businesses see the danger of an escalating trade war as a key risk, with the IMF estimating that such an escalation would reduce global GDP by almost one percent in 2020.

In an in-depth section on digitalisation we conclude that, contrary to what is often argued, new technologies such as robotisation and artificial intelligence are likely to increase rather than reduce the overall demand for labour.

In the longer term, it is clear that the EU’s underlying growth potential is too low, with the European Commission estimating that EU trend growth is 1.7% - thus well below current cyclical growth. This highlights the importance of speeding up implementation of labour and product market reforms as well as institutional reforms.

BusinessEurope main forecast

Publications

Press releases Date
Escalating global trade tensions and skills shortages a risk for EU economy 05/11/2018
EU growth at risk of peaking 22/06/2018
EU’s economic recovery picks up momentum 06/11/2017
EU recovery continues despite challenges 20/10/2016
EU social partners should support reforms and growth to secure EU's social model 14/06/2016
Commission’s economic forecast underscores the need for policies supporting long-term growth 03/05/2016
"We must safeguard the EU economic recovery", Marcegaglia - BusinessEurope presents Economic Outlook at EU Tripartite Social Summit 14/10/2015
Reports and studies Date
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Autumn 2018 - EU growth to remain above trend 05/11/2018
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Spring 2018 - EU growth at risk of peaking 22/06/2018
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Autumn 2017 - The EU's economic recovery picks up momentum 06/11/2017
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Spring 2017 - The EU economic recovery continues 08/06/2017
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Autumn 2016 - EU recovery continuing despite Brexit vote 19/10/2016
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Spring 2016 - Political uncertainty dampening Europe's economic recovery 01/06/2016
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Autumn 2015 - Global risks underline need for reforms to 'lock in' the recovery 15/10/2015
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Spring 2015 - Policy action needed to make a temporary boost structural 29/04/2015
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Autumn 2014 - Strong policy choices needed to rebuild momentum 22/10/2014
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Spring 2014 - The recovery still needs securing 21/05/2014
Speeches Date
Macroeconomic dialogue meeting at political level, 21 February 2017 - Address by Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General 22/02/2017
Macroeconomic dialogue meeting at political level, 7 November 2016 - Address by Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General 07/11/2016
Extraordinary macroeconomic dialogue at political level - Address by Markus J. Beyrer 14/06/2016
Macroeconomic dialogue meeting at political level, 11 February 2016 - Address by Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General 11/02/2016
Boosting convergence, jobs and growth: towards a strengthened role of social partners" - Address by BusinessEurope President Emma Marcegaglia at the EU Tripartite Social Summit 15/10/2015
Macroeconomic dialogue meeting at political level on 16 February 2015 - Address by Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General 16/02/2015
Macroeconomic dialogue at political level - Address by Emma Marcegaglia, President of BusinessEurope 07/07/2014
30th Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting at political level - Speech by Markus J. Beyrer 10/03/2014
Position papers Date
Reduction of the PRODCOM list from 8-digit to 6-digit level - a BusinessEurope position paper 19/01/2017
Facts and figures Date
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Spring 2016 - Political uncertainty dampening Europe's economic recovery 01/06/2016
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Autumn 2015 - Global risks underline need for reforms to 'lock in' the recovery 15/10/2015
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Spring 2015 - Policy action needed to make a temporary boost structural 29/04/2015
BusinessEurope Economic Outlook Autumn 2014 - Strong policy choices needed to rebuild momentum 22/10/2014
Public letters Date
Concerns about the SIMSTAT project - Letter from James Watson to Eurostat 13/05/2016
Reduction of the PRODCOM list from 8-digit to 6-digit level - Letter from James Watson to Eurostat 13/05/2016

Contact

James Watson

Director
Tel:
+32 2 237 65 15

Frederik Lange

Adviser
Tel:
+32 2 237 65 26
Last updated: 5 November 2018