The European Commission has downgraded forecasts of UK economic growth in the wake of the Brexit vote, with the rest of the European Union overtaking Britain in 2017 and 2018.
Although the UK enjoyed “brisk” GDP growth of 2 per cent last year, the commission warned that the impact of the vote to leave the EU “has yet to be felt” and is expected to become apparent later this year.
In its Winter Economic Forecast, the commission projected that UK economic growth will be “moderate in 2017 and weaken further in 2018”. It forecast growth of 1.5% in 2017 - down from a 2.1% prediction a year ago, before the Brexit vote - slowing further to 1.2 per cent next year.
Over the same period, overall EU growth is expected to head upwards, from 1.6 per cent in 2014 to 1.8 per cent in both this year and next. Growth forecasts for the eurozone are upgraded from 1.5% to 1.6% for this year and 1.7% to 1.8% for next year.
Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici named Brexit as a “significant downside risk” to the EU as a whole.