Eurozone ministers remain optimistic about economic growth Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: In this illustration taken on November 27, 2021, a vial and a syringe can be seen in front of the EU flag and the words “Omicron SARS-CoV-2” on display. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters)-Officials said that the euro zone finance ministers may remain optimistic about growth prospects when they meet on Monday to discuss the latest developments, as the economy has learned to adapt to the epidemic in the past two years.

The emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has increased the concern of some economists that since the beginning of 2020, the European economy may experience a roller coaster lockdown.

However, a senior official involved in the preparatory meeting said that the International Monetary Fund will also express its views on the euro zone economy at the meeting. He said that the new variants have increased uncertainty, but have not changed the overall situation.

“Overall, the economic outlook remains favorable,” the official said. “The growth in the second and third quarters of this year is very fast, and the recovery will continue,” he said, adding that the International Monetary Fund is also quite optimistic about the recovery in its report.

The European Commission predicted in November that the Eurozone economy will grow faster this year than previously expected, and will continue to expand strongly in 2022, with deficits and public debt declining.

After experiencing a 6.4% recession in 2020, the euro zone’s GDP is expected to grow by 5.0% this year. The growth rates in 2022 and 2023 are expected to be 4.3% and 2.4%, respectively.

The official said: “I think the overwhelming expectations still exist. We should not exaggerate the situation (the pandemic is difficult). We should expect the world economy to adapt to these supply-demand imbalances.”

The official added that due to the continued introduction of vaccines, the economy has been adapting to the pandemic and has become increasingly resilient.

“In essence, economic actors have developed new ways to work in pandemic situations. Therefore, it is expected that while pandemic dynamics may put pressure on the economic outlook, the impact is unlikely to be as we have seen before That’s serious,” the official said.

Ministers may also approve the recommendations of the European Commission to continue to provide fiscal policy assistance to the economy next year, but the focus will shift from full support for everyone to targeted measures for specific sectors.

The official added that the European Central Bank, the Committee and the International Monetary Fund all believe that the Eurozone inflation rate reached a record high, reaching 4.9% year-on-year in November. This is a temporary phenomenon and has not had a second round of impact on wages so far. .

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