In all the countries covered by L’Observatoire Cetelem, there has been positive growth for several quarters now.
Growth has returned, slowly but surely. A number of countries stood out in 2016. This was the case for Romania (5.2%) and, to a lesser extent, Slovakia and Spain. Growth remained steady in Germany (1.9%). France continued to trail its north-eastern neighbour (1.3%). Only Italy and Portugal posted growth of less than 1% in 2016. Overall, European Union growth remained shy of the symbolic 2% threshold. For 2017, the European Commission’s forecasts point to a slight weakening of Europe’s economic growth, to an average of 1.6%. Conversely, the employment situation is set to continue to improve, with the average unemployment rate expected to fall to 8.3%. It is worth remembering that it had approached the 11% mark at the height of the credit crunch.