A second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has stalled a nascent recovery in Europe, the EU said on Thursday, warning the economy would not return to pre-virus normality before 2023.
In its latest forecast, the European Commission said the eurozone economy would expand by just 4.2 percent next year, much lower than the 6.1 percent it predicted in July.
The EU executive said that the loss of steam in the economy came despite a better-than-expected recovery in the middle of 2020 which limited the depth of this year's historic recession.
The economy in the 19 countries that use the single currency would crash by minus 7.8 percent in 2020, instead of the minus 8.7 predicted earlier, the EU said.
"This forecast comes as a second wave of the pandemic is unleashing yet more uncertainty and dashing our hopes for a quick rebound," commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a statement.
"EU economic output will not return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022," he warned.