EU dashes hopes of rapid growth

The European Commission has lowered its growth forecast for the eurozone and the broader European Union. Gross domestic product is expected to land at 1.6% in 2016 and 1.8% next year, while growth in the region as a whole is expected to hit 1.8% this year and 1.9% in 2017.

Sweden will continue to fare well, the Commission said, upwardly revising its growth forecast for the Scandinavian country, from 3.2 to 3.4%. The budget deficit is expected to be 0.4% of GDP.

“Sweden is not in as deep a recession as the rest of Europe; unemployment is quite high but Sweden has the highest employment rate. This provides a good tax base and strong finances,” Swedbank chief economist Anna Breman has said.