Published as part of the ECB Economic Bulletin, Issue 1/2019.
Activity in the euro area is expected to continue to expand at a moderate pace, while more elevated uncertainty points to intensified downside risks to the growth outlook. Heightened uncertainties at the global level, the prospect of Brexit, escalating protectionism, volatility in emerging market economies (EMEs) and policy uncertainty in some parts of the euro area pose major challenges to the sustainability of domestic demand going forward. According to the December 2018 Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the growth outlook is expected to be underpinned by sustained growth in domestic demand over the next few years, notwithstanding a very limited contribution from net exports and inventories (see Chart A). Even though growth is expected to slow, which is consistent with a maturing business cycle in which labour supply shortages increase in some countries and saving ratios recover from their low levels, activity is expected to be relatively resilient owing to a number of factors, including the expected continued expansion of global activity, the accommodative monetary policy stance supporting financing conditions, improving labour markets, rising wages and some fiscal loosening. This box reviews the factors underpinning domestic expenditure and assesses the potential adverse effects on domestic activity of heightened global uncertainty. [Read More]