The European recovery is strengthening and broadening appreciably. Real GDP growth is projected at 2.4 percent in 2017, up from 1.7 percent in 2016, before easing to 2.1 percent in 2018. These are large upward revisions—0.5 and 0.2 percentage point for 2017 and 2018, respectively—relative to the April World Economic Outlook. The European recovery is spilling over to the rest of the world, contributing significantly to global growth. In a few advanced and many emerging economies, unemployment rates have returned to precrisis levels. Most emerging market European economies are now seeing robust wage growth. In many parts of Europe, however, wage growth is sluggish despite falling unemployment.
This paper discusses the robust growth that continues in most Central and Southeastern European economies as well as in Turkey. Accommodative macroeconomic policies, improving financial intermediation, and rising real wages have been behind the region’s mostly consumption-driven rebound, while private investment remained subdued. In the near-term, strong domestic demand is expected to continue supporting growth amid continued low or negative inflation. The Russian economy went through a sharp contraction last year amid plunging oil prices and sanctions. Other CIS countries were hurt by domestic political and financial woes, as well as by weak demand from Russia. In 2016, output contraction is projected to moderate to around 1½ percent from 4¼ percent in 2015 as the shocks that hit the CIS economies gradually reverberate less and activity stabilizes. In the baseline, a combination of supportive monetary policy and medium-term fiscal consolidation remains valid for many economies in the region.