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News : EU Economy Last Updated: May 18, 2009 - 6:49:22 AM

Eurozone and EU27 GDP down by 2.5% in first quarter of 2009; Annual falls at -4.6% and -4.4% respectively
By Finfacts Team
May 15, 2009 - 10:11:05 AM

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Eurozone (EA16) and the EU27 GDP (gross domestic product) fell by 2.5% in the first quarter of 2009, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published today by Eurostat, the EU statistics office. In the fourth quarter of 2008, growth rates were -1.6% in the Eurozone and -1.5% in the EU27. In the 12 months to March 2009, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 4.6% in the Eurozone and by 4.4% in the EU27 after -1.4% contractions in both zones in the previous quarter.

During the first quarter of 2009, US GDP decreased by 1.6% compared with the previous quarter, after -1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008. US GDP fell by 2.6% compared with the same quarter of the previous year (-0.8% in the previous quarter).

Earlier today, the German federal statistics office Destatis, reported the downward trend of the German economy accelerated in the first quarter of 2009. The gross domestic product (GDP) fell 3.8% in the first quarter of 2009, compared with the fourth quarter of 2008 when it declined 2.2%. The 12-month fall was 6.7%.


The European Central Bank on Thursday published its Monthly Bulletin for May, after cutting interest rates to record low 1% last Thursday. The ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) for the second quarter of 2009, which had 52 responses, shows a revision in the growth expectations for 2009 in the Eurozone downwards, to a real GDP contraction of 3.4%.

Eurostat says simulations and previously published flash estimates have shown the flash estimation procedure to be reliable. Over the last 33 quarters, the flash estimate of GDP growth on the previous quarter for the Eurozone (EA12) when compared to the following first regular release has led to an average revision of less than 0.01 percentage points. It correctly anticipated the acceleration or deceleration of growth 28 times. The value of the growth rate was correctly anticipated 28 times and differed by ±0.1 percentage points 5 times.

The Eurozone (EA16) consists of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK).

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