14 Sep 2010

EU growth forecast raised

1:34 pm on 14 September 2010

The European Commission has almost doubled its forecast for growth in the EU this year, despite the Greek debt crisis.

The commission now expects the 27 EU states to grow 1.8% in 2010, up from an earlier estimate of 1%.

The new forecast is based on improved projections for seven of Europe's largest economies - Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Poland - which together account for about 80% of EU GDP.

The BBC reports the biggest revision was made for Germany after its economy grew by 2.2% in the second quarter - its fastest rate in more than 20 years.

In May, the EC predicted the German economy would grow by 1.2% this year; now it expects expansion of 3.4%.

But Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn says the region is not out of the woods yet.

"We now have solid ground under our feet," he said. "We have started scoring again, but there is no reason to shout for victory. We must remain alert and vigilant."

The commission also projects inflation of 1.8% in the EU in 2010 and of 1.4% in the 16-member eurozone.