BRUSSELS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Wednesday predicted modest economic growth across the 19-country eurozone and the 28-country European Union (EU), according to its autumn 2016 economic forecast.
The report indicated that real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was now expected to rise 1.7 percent in the eurozone, 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous spring report, while GDP growth in the EU remained the same at 1.8 percent.
For 2017, the EU executive arm forecasts a growth of 1.5 percent in the eurozone and 1.6 percent in the EU, both 0.3 percentage points lower than previous predictions.
The European Commission also predicted a growth of 1.7 percent in the eurozone and 1.8 percent in the EU in 2018.
The report attributed Europe's modest growth to recent labor market gains and rising private consumption, saying that expectations were for employment to continue growing and wages to pick up slightly.
However, the report also noted there was a risk that the economy's weak performance in recent years could hold back growth, and persistent slack pointed to the possibility of faster growth without undue inflationary pressures.
In the coming years, the European economy will no longer be able to rely on the exceptional support from external factors like falling oil prices and currency depreciation, the report added.
"In the light of increased global uncertainty, it is now even more important to pursue sound and prudent macroeconomic and budgetary policies," said Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner responsible for the euro and social dialogue.
The European Commission's 2016 economic forecast is a seasonal report based on a set of external assumptions concerning exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices. The previous report was released in May.