Europe’s economic outlook worsens as high prices plague consumer spending

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s economic outlook just took a turn for the worse. The European Union’s executive commission on Monday cut its forecast because high inflation is still discouraging consumers from spending money. The European Commission now expects economic growth of 0.8% this year for the 20 countries that use the euro currency. The old forecast was for 1.1% growth. Despite fears of recession, it’s more stagnation because unemployment is low. The weaker outlook could affect what the European Central Bank does on interest rates this week. Some economists think the ECB might avoid another rate increase after nine straight hikes.