European Union slips into recession

15 May 13
The combined gross domestic product of the 27 members of the European Union fell by 0.1% in the first three months of this year, sending the economic bloc into recession, according to Eurostat figures published today.

By | 15 May 2013

The combined gross domestic product of the 27 members of the European Union fell by 0.1% in the first three months of this year, sending the economic bloc into recession, according to Eurostat figures published today.

The contraction follows a 0.5% fall the previous quarter.

The latest GDP estimates from the EU’s statistical service also show that the eurozone fell further into recession. Output of the 17 members of single currency bloc fell by 0.2% – the sixth consecutive contraction. However, this was an improvement from the 0.6% contraction recorded in the final three months of 2012.

Fewer than half of EU member states’ economies grew in the first quarter, with only Lithuania (1.3%) and Latvia (1.2%) posting growth over 1%. Europe’s largest economy, Germany, grew by just 0.1% – although this is an improvement on the 0.7% contraction recorded in the final three months of last year.

Another of Europe’s largest economies, France, slipped into recession as its economy shrank by 0.2% for the second consecutive quarter.

Finland also fell into recession, as its economy shrank by 0.1%. Output in the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal all contracted for the third quarter or more in succession. While Eurostat does not publish quarter-on-quarter GDP figures for Greece, today’s data does reveal that the ailing Mediterranean economy was 5.3% smaller in the first quarter than it was a year earlier.

Overall, the EU economy’s GDP in the first quarter was 0.7% lower than in the same period in 2012, while the eurozone economy has shrunk by 1% over the past year.

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