The European Commission slashed their GDP growth forecast for the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom) and the Eurozone for 2019 and 2020 citing slowing growth in China and weakening global trade.
The growth forecast for 2019 for the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom) was cut to 1.5% for 2019 (was previously forecast 2%) and for the Eurozone was cut to 1.3% (was previously forecast 1.9%).
Germany, Italy and the Netherlands all saw big downgrades for their growth outlook.
22 out of the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) currently have national minimum wages. The 6 countries in the EU that do not currently have any minimum wage level set are Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden.
Japan has the highest percentage of over 65s at 26.56%. The other countries that make the top 25 countries for over 65s population are Italy, Germany, Portugal, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, France, Croatia, Spain, Estonia, Austria, Malta, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Hungary all of which are in Europe.
A record of over 1 billion air passengers travelled by air in the European Union in 2017. In 2017, 1.04 billion passengers travelled by air in the European Union (EU), up by 7% compared with 2016 and by 39% compared with 2009.
In 2017, intra-EU transport represented almost half (47%) of total air passenger transport in the EU and extra-EU transport over a third (36%), while national transport accounted for fewer than 1 in every 5 passengers (17%).
Social protection expenditure in the European Union (EU) stood at 28.2% of GDP in 2016. In 2016, the two main sources of funding of social protection at EU level were social contributions, making up 55% of total receipts, and general government contributions from taxes at 40%.
Sweden’s Central Bank, the Riksbank raised interest rates for the first time in seven years on Thursday which might cause further European monetary tightening. Riksbank’s benchmark repo rate was raised 25 bps from -0.5% earlier to -0.25%. It still remains negative though.
European Union total debt (Debt of general governments and the private sector) as percentage of GDP is now over 300%. Ireland’s total debt to GDP is an eye watering 450%. A decade ago the EU total debt to GDP was 180%, the debt bubble is well and truly here.
The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, which is the sum of taxes and net social contributions as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, stood at 40.2% in the European Union (EU) in 2017 and 41.4% of GDP for the Eurozone in 2017. These were the highest ever levels for both the European Union and Eurozone.
In January to September 2018, Euro area or Eurozone exports of goods to the rest of the world rose to €1,686.0 bn (an increase of 3.6% compared with January to September 2017), while imports rose to €1,542.9 bn (an increase of 5.8% compared with January to September 2017). As a result, the euro area recorded a surplus of €143.1 bn, compared with +€169.2 bn in January-September 2017. Intra-euro area trade rose to €1,449.8 bn in January-September 2018, up by 5.7% compared with January-September 2017.