Economic Forecast puts Macedonia with Highest growth for 2015/16
Tuesday, 05 May 2015

Macedonia is forecast to achieve highest economic growth rate in Europe both in 2015 and in 2016, the European Commission 2015 Spring economic forecast informs on Tuesday. MIA correspondent in Brussels reports that the forecast, introduced by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, sees Macedonian gross domestic product growing by 3,8 percent in 2015 and by 3,9 percent in 2016.

The forecast sees the European Union, on the whole growing by 1,8 percent this year, and 2,1 percent next year. Ireland, Malta and Poland will be star performs within the EU, all growing at rates about 3 percent. Despite the deep crisis in Greece, EU still sees all European countries growing, except for Cyprus, whose economy is forecast to decline by 0,5 percent. Lowest rates of growth are expected in Finland and Croatia - 0,3 percent each. Italy should grow by 0,6 percent. Greece is still expected to grow by 0,5 percent, even though the country is locked in a protracted dispute with the European creditors that kept it afloat for the past five years.

"The European economy is enjoying its brightest spring in several years, with the upturn supported by both external factors and policy measures that are beginning to bear fruit. But more needs to be done to ensure this recovery is more than a seasonal phenomenon. Delivering on investment and reforms and sticking to responsible fiscal policies are key to obtaining the lasting jobs and growth Europe needs", Commissioner Moscovici said.

On debt and deficit, the Spring forecast sees Macedonian deficits dropping from 4,2 percent of gross domestic product in 2014 to 3,8 percent in 2015 and 3,6 percent in 2016. The debt is expected to grow from last year's level of 27,8 percent to 40,5 percent in 2016, pushed by spending of public utilities backed by the central budget. It remains well below the 60 percent limit set by European countries as a suggested top limit. Record breaking Greece owes nearly two annual gross domestic products - a staggering 180,2 percent of GDP in debt, Italy is at 133 percent, and the EU on the whole has a debt level at 88 percent of gross domestic product.

The traditional weak point of Macedonia's economy, the unemployment, is forecast to decrease from 28,1 percent in 2014 to 27,4 percent in 2015 and down to 26,4 percent in 2016. The decrease comes on the back of improving foreign manufacturing investment and public infrastructure investments in Macedonia. The forecast warns Macedonia about its low labour participation rates, especially among women, and the high youth unemployment rate of almost 50 percent. Greece leads EU countries with an unemployment rate of 25,6 percent, followed by Spain's 22,4 percent. Germany and the United Kingdom, with rates of 4,6 and 5,4 percent, and best European performers.


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