Economic activity in Europe has slowed on the back of weakness in trade and manufacturing. For most of the region, the slowdown remains externally driven. However, some signs of softer domestic demand have started to appear, especially in investment. Services and domestic consumption have been buoyant so far, but their resilience is tightly linked to labor market conditions, which, despite some easing, remain robust. Expansionary fiscal policy in many countries and looser financial conditions have also supported domestic demand.
On balance, Europe’s growth is projected to decline from 2.3 percent in 2018 to 1.4 percent in 2019. A modest recovery is forecast for 2020, with growth reaching 1.8 percent, as global trade is expected to pick up and some economies recover from past stresses. This projection, broadly unchanged from the April 2019 World Economic Outlook, masks significant differences between advanced and emerging Europe. Growth in advanced Europe has been revised down by 0.1 percentage point to 1.3 percent in 2019, while growth in emerging Europe has been revised up by 0.5 percentage point to 1.8 percent.
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