Blog Post

New EC spring forecasts: high uncertainty dominates outlook for Cyprus

Last Friday the European Commission released the spring update on their economic forecasts for European Union member states and some other advanced economies. Negative growth forecasts for the EU and the euro area reflect weakness in the periphery as well as in the core countries. The 2013 growth forecasts for the big European economies were all revised down. Major changes were made to the economic forecasts for Cyprus.

By: Date: May 7, 2013 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

Last Friday the European Commission released the spring update on their economic forecasts for European Union member states and some other advanced economies (see the report here and the database here). Negative growth forecasts for the EU and the euro area reflect weakness in the periphery as well as in the core countries. The 2013 growth forecasts for the big European economies were all revised down. Major changes were made to the economic forecasts for Cyprus.

The Commission lowered their real GDP forecast for the EU from 0.1% to -0.1% in 2013. For the euro area they expect -0.4% growth in 2013 (previously -0.3%). Growth is anticipated to “to turn positive gradually in the second half of the year before gaining some traction in 2014” (European Commission 2013). As a result, real GDP is expected to grow by 1.4% in 2014 (previously 1.6%) in the EU and by 1.2% (previously 1.4%) in the euro area.

The figure below shows the new forecasts by the EC. The Commission expects nine European economies (Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) to be in recession in 2013. Seven of them are projected to return to growth next year.

Figure 1: Real GDP forecasts

Source: AMECO database.

While the latest batch of EC forecasts overall is slightly more cautious, the by far largest changes were made to the Cypriot outlook. Real GDP is expected to collapse by -8.7% in 2013 and by -3.9% in 2014. The following figure illustrates the massive revisions that were made to the winter real GDP projections for Cyprus as released in February.

Figure 2: Real GDP forecast for Cyprus

Source: AMECO database.

Overall the economy is expected to shrink by around 14% in 2012-2014. The Commission expects this as a result of the fast restructuring of the banking sector, fiscal consolidation and generally high economic uncertainty (European Commission 2013). Additionally, the report stresses the negative impact on growth of the temporary imposition of capital controls and the expected decline in private consumption and investment due to the bail-in of uninsured depositors; measures that obviously were not taken into account in the winter forecast. It does not come as a surprise that the unemployment rate is expected to push to unprecedented levels in turn.

The economic projections for Cyprus look similarly painful as the Greek recession in 2011 (real GDP -7.1%). However, bear in mind that for Greece 2011 was only one of several years with negative growth and the Greek economy did not have to cope with the side effects of capital controls and a bail-in of uninsured depositors. These factors make an even faster contraction in the case of Cyprus very likely. One thing is for sure however, they add to the high degree of uncertainty that these forecasts come with. It does not surprise that the Commission sees significant downside risks to their projections due to the implementation of the agreed macroeconomic adjustment programme. In their latest World Economic Outlook (see the report here), the IMF decided to simply exclude any projections for Cyprus due to the high degree of uncertainty that the on-going crisis comes with. The forecasts of the EC for the Cypriot economy have to be handled very carefully. Substantial downside risks exist. Neither of the institutions gives any indication on when the Cypriot economy will return to growth.

References

European Commission (2013), ‘European Economic Forecast Spring 2013’, European Economy, 2/2013.

International Monetary Fund (2013), ‘Hopes, Realities, and Risks’, World Economic Outlook, April 2013. 


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

View comments
Read about event

Upcoming Event

Sep
4-5
08:30

Bruegel Annual Meetings 2019

Bruegel's 2019 Annual Meetings will be held on 4-5 September and feature the launch of Bruegel's Memos to the New European Commission.

Speakers: Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Laurence Boone, Claire Bury, Vítor Constâncio, Zsolt Darvas, Jérôme Delpech, Kris Dekeyser, Maria Demertzis, Baroness Kishwer Falkner of Margravine, Alicia García-Herrero, Mikaela Gavas, Sven Giegold, José Manuel González-Páramo, Sylvie Goulard, Pierre Heilbronn, Mathew Heim, Jamie Heywood, Yi Huang, Danuta Hübner, Korbinian Ibel, Shada Islam, Kate Kalutkiewicz, Brigitte Knopf, Bernd Lange, Christian Leffler, Päivi Leino-Sandberg, Mark Leonard, Cecilia Malmström, Stefano Manservisi, J. Scott Marcus, Ann Mettler, Ashoka Mody, Erik F. Nielsen, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Lapo Pistelli, Lucrezia Reichlin, Joakim Reiter, André Sapir, Olaf Scholz, Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, Philipp Steinberg, Alexander Stubb, Ezequiel Szafir, Jean-Claude Trichet, Laura Tyson, Nicolas Véron, Reinhilde Veugelers, Sabine Weyand, Thomas Wieser, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Palais des Academies, Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels
Read about event

Upcoming Event

Sep
16
08:30

Climate change and the role of central banks

What connections exist between central banks and climate change, and what are the resulting implications?

Speakers: Emanuele Campiglio, Paul Hiebert, Pierre Monnin, Kjell G. Nyborg, Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva, Mario Quagliariello, Mattia Romani, Paweł Samecki and Dirk Schoenmaker Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Narodowy Bank Polski, Świętokrzyska 11/21, 00-919 Warsaw
Read article More on this topic More by this author

External Publication

La Banca centrale europea

This external publication delves into the new responsibility given to the European Central Bank: supervision on banks in the euro-area. It tells its history and illustrates its functions, structure and responsibilities and the exceptional answers to respond to the "perfect storm" of the crisis.

By: Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 31, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

The consequences of Switzerland’s lost equivalence status

Due to a spat between the European Commission and the government of Switzerland over the negotiation of an institutional framework agreement, equity securities that are listed on Swiss exchanges are banned from being traded on stock exchanges in the European Union. This blog post reviews the background of this incident and assesses the consequences for companies listed in Switzerland as well as EU investors investing in Swiss equity securities.

By: Michael Baltensperger Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 25, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Opinion

EU policy recommendations: A stronger legal framework is not enough to foster national compliance

In 2011, the EU introduced stricter rules to monitor the implementation of country-specific policy recommendations. Using a new dataset, this column investigates whether these new laws have increased national compliance. There is no evidence that these stricter processes matter for implementation rates, whereas macroeconomic fundamentals and market pressure are important determinants of implementation progress. These results suggest ways to improve the effectiveness of European policy coordination that go beyond stronger legal processes.

By: Konstantinos Efstathiou and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 23, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Croatia’s path into the banking union

Croatia seems a suitable candidate for euro area accession: there is a tight peg to the euro, high public debt is coming down, and the banking sector is already dominated by euro area banks. But the Eurogroup has rightly targeted reforms of the state’s role in the economy as a precondition for participation in ERM II and the banking union. None of the announced reform plans are new or easily concluded within the timeframe that has now been agreed.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 18, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

Talking about Europe: Die Zeit and Der Spiegel 1940s-2010s

An on-going research project is seeking to quantify and analyse printed media discourses about Europe over the decades since the end of the Second World War. A first snapshot screened more than 2.8 million articles in Le Monde between 1944 and 2018. In this second instalment we carry out an analogous exercise on a dataset of more the 500 thousand articles from two German weekly magazines: Die Zeit and Der Spiegel. We also report on the on-going work to refine the quantitative methodology.

By: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 18, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Opening speech by Bruno Le Maire

Bruno Le Maire, minister of the economy and finance, delivered the opening speech at Bruegel's event “The Eurozone agreement – a mini revolution?”, 8 July 2019.

By: Bruno Le Maire Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 9, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

‘Lo spread’: The collateral damage of Italy’s confrontation with the EU

The authors assess whether the European Commission's actions towards Italy since September 2018 have had a visible impact on the spread between Italian sovereign-bond yields and those of Germany, and particularly whether the Commission’s warnings have acted as a ‘signalling device’ for bond-market participants that it might be difficult for Italy to obtain the support of the ESM or the ECB’s OMT programme if needed.

By: Grégory Claeys and Jan Mazza Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 8, 2019
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

It’s hard to live in the city: Berlin’s rent freeze and the economics of rent control

A proposal in Berlin to ban increases in rent for the next five years sparked intense debate in Germany. Similar policies to the Mietendeckel are currently being discussed in London and NYC. All three proposals reflect and raise similar concerns – the increase in per-capita incomes is not keeping pace with increases in rents, but will a cap do more harm than good? We review recent views on the matter.

By: Inês Goncalves Raposo Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 8, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Eurozone agreement: a mini revolution?

What does the new Eurozone budget do, and what does it not do? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Speakers: Bruno Le Maire and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 8, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: Priorities for the new ECB president

In this Director's Cut of 'The Sound of Economics', Guntram Wolff talks to two of the authors of Bruegel's memo to the new ECB president, Maria Demertzis and Grégory Claeys, to specify the most important issues at the beginning of this eight-year cycle and to clarify the parameters within which the new incumbent will have to work.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 4, 2019
Load more posts