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EC spring economic forecasts 2006-2007

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Economic growth is projected to rebound in 2006 to 2.3% in the European Union and to 2.1% in the euro area, up from 1.6% and 1.3% in 2005, according to the Commission’s spring economic forecasts. The main impulses stem from a robust increase in investment, continued strong world growth and an improved outlook in Germany. Growth is expected to edge slightly lower in 2007 to 2.2% in the EU and 1.8% in the euro area. The EU as a whole is expected to create 3 ½ million new jobs over the period 2006-07, after nearly 3 million in the previous two years. This will help reduce unemployment from a peak of more than 9% in 2004 to an expected 8.2% in 2007 in the EU. Inflation remains remarkably stable at slightly above 2% despite soaring oil prices, which remain the main risk to economic growth.

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