(Brussels) “Europe’s economy is still sound, with an expected growth of 2.1% in the Gross Domestic Product in both the euro-zone and the 28-EU, this year. However, the downward trend in GDP growth since May shows that an unfavourable external context, such as rising trade tensions with the USA, can shrink confidence and unfavourably affect economic growth”. It is Valdis Dombrovskis, deputy president in charge of the euro, who comments the statistics of the Interim Economic Forecasts of Summer 2018, published in Brussels today. “Rising external risks are further proof that the resilience of our national economies and the euro-zone as a whole needs to be strengthened”. The EU Commission’s papers show that, “after powerfully growing for five consecutive quarters, the economic recovery slowed down in the first six months of 2018, and, based on current estimates, growth is expected to be 0.2 per cent less than predicted in the Spring forecasts, in both the EU and the euro-zone”. Growth “is expected to get some momentum back in the second half of this year, in a setting where employment market conditions are improving, families’ debt is decreasing, consumers’ confidence is still high, and the monetary policy keeps boosting recovery”.