On the other hand, wage increases, particularly in the services sector, are expected to create some upward pressure on prices, the EC noted, adding that overall, consumer price inflation is forecast to average 1.7% in 2019 and 2.0% in 2020. The forecasts for headline inflation in the euro area and the European Union was lowered by 0.1 percent this year and next, mainly due to lower oil prices and the slightly weaker economic outlook.
The weaker economic outlook contributed to a downward revision of inflation expectations, the commission said, cutting its estimate to 1.3 per cent for this year and next from the 1.4 per cent it previously estimated for both years.
The commission however expects a significant acceleration for Germany in 2020, when growth would leap to 1.4 percent.
According to EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis (financial stability), the resilience of the European economy is being put to the test by global trade tensions and political uncertainty. As a result, the forecast for euro area GDP growth in 2019 remains unchanged at 1.2 percent, while the forecast for 2020 has been lowered slightly to 1.4 percent following the more moderate pace expected in the rest of this year (spring forecast: 1.5 percent). That could give the European Central Bank a reason to push ahead with fresh stimulus.
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Commenting the Commission's forecast for Latvia, the Commission's Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialog Valdis Dombrovskis said that Latvia's economic development this year was still being driven by strong domestic demand and increasing exports.
The commission confirmed the economic slowdown in the eurozone was mostly caused by weaker growth in Germany, the eurozone's largest economy, and Italy, its third largest. The Polish and Hungarian economies are set to grow by 4.4 per cent, Romania four per cent, Slovakia 3.6 per cent, Bulgaria 3.3 per cent, Slovenia 3.2 per cent, Croatia and Lithuania 3.1 per cent, Latvia three per cent, Estonia 2.9 per cent and the Czech Republic 2.6 per cent. Next year's growth is expected to accelerate to 0.7 per cent but remain the slowest in the bloc.
EU Commission lowers France GDP growth forecast for 2020 to 1.4% from 1.5% estimated previously, keeps forecast unchanged at 1.3% for 2019. However, the projection does not take into account possible trade disruptions caused by a no-deal Brexit.