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Europe and Central Asia

Growth in Europe and Central Asia is estimated to have slowed to a lower-than-expected 2.4 percent in 2014 as a stuttering recovery in the Euro Area and stagnation in the Russian Federation posed headwinds. In contrast, growth in Turkey exceeded expectations despite slowing to about 3.1 percent.  Growth in the region is expected to rebound to 3.0 percent in 2015 and 3.8 percent in 2016–17 but with considerable divergence. Recession in Russia holds back growth in Commonwealth of Independent States whereas a gradual recovery in the Euro Area should lift growth in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. The tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the associated economic sanctions, the possibility of prolonged stagnation in the Euro Area, and sustained commodity price declines remain key downside risks for the region. Long-term growth is held back by structural impediments, including weak business environments and institutions and fragile banking systems.

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