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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 Spring 2018 Economic Outlook highlights that businesses are increasingly concerned that EU growth is at risk of peaking.

  • For 2018, we expect GDP growth of 2.4% in the EU and 2.3% in the Euro-area. For 2019, we expect growth to slow down to 2.1% in both the EU and the Euro-area.
  • Business federations are increasing concerned about a shortage of relevant skills in the EU, which is increasingly acting as a constraint on production capacity.

Risks to the outlook remain in particular in form of a high level of policy uncertainty, with the danger of increasing protectionism. As outlined in our in-depth analysis box 1, external IMF analyses suggest that a broader application of tariffs across countries could lower global output by about 1¾% after 5 years and by close to 2% in the long term.

In the longer term, it is clear that the EU’s underlying growth potential is too low, with the European Commission estimating that trend growth is 1.7% - thus well below current cyclical growth.

Policy-makers should now seize the moment to implement labour and product market reforms as well as institutional reforms that make EU economies more productive and resilient, and increase the EU’s potential for long-term growth and job creation. Given the emerging supply constraints, it is particularly important to address structural constraints to growth such as remaining barriers to investment and labour market mismatches. It is key to improve work-orientated learning for all age groups, including the promotion of digital skills, as well as reforms which help encourage people to stay longer in the workforce and ensure proper integration of legal migrants.

BusinessEurope main forecast

Publications

Press releases Date
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
European Commission forecast underlines need for continuing reform 05/11/2013
Reports and studies Date
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
Economic Outlook Spring 2013 - Policy perseverance can restore growth 27/05/2013
Economic Outlook Autumn 2012 - Uncertainty takes its toll on the economy 28/11/2012
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
29th Macroeconomic Dialogue meeting at political level - Speaking notes for Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope Director General 14/11/2013
28th macro-economic dialogue at political level - Address by Markus J. Beyrer 04/03/2013
27th macro-economic dialogue meeting at political level - Speaking notes for Philippe de Buck 12/11/2012
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
Economic Outlook Autumn 2013 - Recovery emerging but policy support essential 13/11/2013
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: 22 June 2018