After several years of fiscal uncertainty affecting a significant number of its member nations and nearby allies, the European Union recently made notable progress toward economic recovery. Per figures released by Eurostat Jan. 31, 2018 gross domestic product through the entire eurozone increased 2.5 per cent during 2017. Euronews reported that this figure puts the EU slightly ahead of the U.S. 2.3 per cent 2017 GDP expansion.
The changes affected both the EU28 - the nations formally claiming membership in the EU - and the broader eurozone, which still includes the U.K., despite 2016's Brexit referendum requesting separation from Europe.
Economists credit broad factors, like the fiscal recovery throughout much of the world, with the 2017 EU growth while also citing more specific triggers such as stimuli put into the economy by the European Central Bank. Balraj Sroya, an analyst with Foenix Partners, elaborated on this activity in an interview with The Independent.
"The eurozone over the last decade has seen a lot of uncertainty with the recession hitting the bloc and the Greek debt crisis," Sroya said. "However, with strong GDP ... and other economic indicator figures, the eurozone has put all that behind [itself] and is looking stronger and more stable than ever, despite Brexit and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding it."
The success seen by the EU is not only notable for its surpassing of the U.S., but also that 2.5 per cent rate of annual expansion is also the highest it's been since 2007 - just prior to the global financial crisis, when it was 3.4 per cent. Additionally, 2017 was the first time that the eurozone experienced greater economic growth than Great Britain, the GDP of which grew just 1.8 per cent.