The eurozone’s economy will grow slightly faster than expected this year at 1.2 per cent, but several of its most vulnerable members will continue to struggle to emerge from a multiyear recession, according to new forecasts from the European Commission.
The 1.2 per cent growth rate is 0.1 per cent faster than forecasts the commission made four months ago and was helped by a sharp upgrade in Spain, the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy, which is now predicted to grow at 1 per cent in 2014, rather than the 0.5 per cent predicted in the autumn.
But the new forecasts will be an unpleasant welcome for the incoming government of Matteo Renzi, Italy’s new prime minister, with the country’s growth downgraded to just 0.6 per cent this year and debt levels still predicted to reach a euro-era high of 133.7 per cent of economic output.
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