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European elections in an era of economic and political disruption

The stakes are high for elections to the European Parliament in May: they will test populist strength across the bloc at a time when economic momentum is weak. In this edition of Ahead of the Curve, we examine how this dynamic could steer the agenda in the weeks before the vote.

Key points

  • The eurozone economy slowed sharply in H2 2018 and started 2019 on a weak footing. However, growth should stabilise at lower rates going forward. We forecast growth of about 1% for 2019, down from 1.8% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2017.
  • Some positive external factors should help, including more accommodative monetary policies globally, China’s stimulus and receding concerns about a US-China trade war.
  • Importantly, domestic factors should also be supportive this year,