A Nordic Outlook by SEB

The world is balancing between positive growth signals and difficult political issues, but there are trend signs showing that global growth might defy the political uncertainties, said Daniel Bergvall, Economist at SEB Economic Research in Stockholm, as he commented on the bank’s latest Nordic Outlook at SEB Business Lunch, jointly arranged by the Nordic Chambers in Estonia. 

After several quarters of anemic growth, Estonia currently has a surge in exports which will drive growth, at least on a short-term basis.

Challenged by globalization, economic inequality, populism, a new security policy agenda, and transformative technologies that affect societies and labor markets, the EU is at a critical, existential crossroads. This conclusion is confirmed in the ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’ which presents five different scenarios for how the EU27 may look in 2025:

1. Carrying on – business as usual: The EU sticks to its course and focuses on implementing and upgrading its current reform agenda. 2. Nothing but the single market: The EU is trimmed down and focuses on deepening certain key aspects of the single market; less cooperation in several areas. 3. Those who want more do more: EU allows willing member states to do more together in specific areas — a “multi-speed EU”. 4. Doing less more efficiently: The EU focuses on delivering more and faster in selected policy areas — while doing less elsewhere. 5. Doing much more together: The EU decides to do much more together across all policy areas — federalism and a ”United States of Europe”

At present, alternative 4 appears to be the most reasonable way forward for the EU27. It is an alternative that should be attractive to most EU countries — including the UK. The EU that the UK voted to leave in last year’s June referendum, may look different when the EU completes its discussions, concludes SEB’s Nordic Outlook.