In an interview with the Financial Times, former Italian prime minister and European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi said it is likely the European Union will fall into a recession by the end of the year.

According to a preliminary estimate by the statistics agency Eurostat, in the July-September period, the Eurozone economy contracted by 0.1% compared to the previous quarter

Draghi said, “It is almost sure we are going to have a recession by the year-end. It is quite clear the first two quarters of next year will show that.”

The broader EU economy grew by 0.1% over the third quarter of the year, with the International Monetary Fund predicting earlier this week that growth in the European Union would likely rebound, from this year’s 1.3% to 1.5% in 2024.

However the FT noted that Draghi is “downbeat” on the outlook for the EU’s economic growth.

From 2011 to 2019, Draghi was the chair of the European Central Bank. He pointed to high energy costs, and a shortage of skilled workers as weaknesses leading to low productivity which was contributing to the economic contraction.

He also noted that over the past 20 years, Europe had lost its competitiveness to the US, China, South Korea, and Japan.

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