… from Sputnik News, Moscow
[ Editor’s Note: Well, it was a long time coming for the EU to admit that the extensive list of economic and regime-change uncertainties is going to depress growth. The numbers below are quite low.
But that is not the bad news, which the article ducked completely. Things can get much worse, and quickly so. With growth numbers this anemic, a shooting war in the Gulf would put the EU and everyone else into recession mode, pronto.
Despite that threat hanging over the Europeans like a sword of Damocles, take for example the Russian sanctions, which have cost the EU hundreds of billions in lost trade, there is not a word of its changing that policy.
Low gas prices from Russia have helped keep EU growth numbers as high as they are, but the EU Commission is stringing Moscow along on the Nordstream 2 pipeline, which includes the consortium of EU big companies getting a piece of the pie.
And none of them really know at this point what a hard or phased Brexit would do, as there is nothing they can make a forecast on. It is anyone’s guess, at this point.
The smart move, which I don’t see happening, is to be shoring up all sanctions and economic issues they can, while they can still do so. Hello EU, is anyone home? Someone give me a call. The first five minutes are free.
The EU inaction makes no sense whatsoever, so all I can see is a behind-the-scenes force holding the EU somewhat hostage on options it appears not to be able to make, regardless of the obvious benefits. The EU has its own Deep State issues, and they get little publicity compared to our own… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … July 10, 2019 –
The statement by the European Commission comes as Washington is engaged in trade rows with not only the bloc, but with China, India, and other countries as well.
Brussels stated on Wednesday that it was reducing economic growth forecasts for the EU, emphasizing the risk posed by “any further escalation of trade tensions”.
“Overall, the euro area economy is set to continue expanding this year and next, with annual growth forecast to slow from 1.9% in 2018 to 1.2% in 2019 (1.4% in the EU) before firming up at 1.4% in 2020 (1.6% in the EU) helped by a higher number of working days”, the forecast read.
According to the commission, “the outlook for trade and investment continues to be clouded by protectionism and uncertainty“.
Earlier this month, Washington also published a list of EU products worth $4 bln that could face additional US tariffs in the wake of the ongoing dispute between Boeing and Airbus.
In the meantime, US President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t introduce new tariffs against Beijing, but stressed that the US won’t be removing trade tariffs on Chinese goods for now.
No Deal – No Growth
The European Commission also underscored that the possible withdrawal of the UK from the bloc without an appropriate deal on exit conditions could undermine prospects for the European economy.
“On the domestic side, given the purely technical assumption of status quo in terms of trading relations between the EU27 and the UK, a ‘no deal’ Brexit remains a major source of risk”, the forecast read.
The UK was supposed to leave the European Union in late March, but the British Parliament refused to back the withdrawal agreement proposed by Prime Minister Theresa May. After several delays, the deadline for London is now 31 October.
At the same time, British PM hopeful Boris Johnson, who could replace Theresa May this month, refused to rule out the no-deal Brexit option, even if that would mean a suspension of the UK Parliament.