The European Commission has predicted that economic growth in the eurozone will come “to a virtual standstill” in the second half of 2011.
It halved its forecast for July to September to growth of just 0.2%, while the forecast for the last three months of the year is down from 0.4% to 0.1%.
The commission blamed financial market problems over the summer as well as weakening demand from outside Europe.
But it remained confident that there would not be a return to recession.
“Recoveries from financial crises are often slow and bumpy. Moreover, the EU economy is affected by a more difficult external environment, while domestic demand remains subdued,” EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said at a news conference to unveil the report.
“The sovereign debt crisis has worsened, and the financial market turmoil is set to dampen the real economy.”
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