A return to growth in France and Italy helped boost Eurozone economic growth in the first three months of 2015 to its fastest rate in almost two years. For the first time since H1 2010, all four of the Eurozone’s biggest economies posted growth, while Spain, headed the group with a 0.9% growth rate and the German economy slowed to a 0.3% rate compared with 0.7% in Q4 of 2014. And for the first time since the first quarter of 2011, the currency area’s economy grew faster than both the US and the UK’s.
The Greek economy returned to recession shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of this year, following a 0.4% contraction in the last three months of 2014.
Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.4% in both the Eurozone1 (EA19) and the EU28 during the first quarter of 2015, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, GDP grew by 0.3% in the Eurozone and by 0.4% in the EU28. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 1.0% in the Eurozone and by 1.4% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2015, after +0.9% and +1.3% respectively in the previous quarter.
During the first quarter of 2015, GDP in the United States increased by 0.1% compared with the previous quarter (after +0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP grew by 3.0% (after +2.4% in the previous quarter).
The UK grew by 0.3% in the first quarter compared with 0.6% in teh fourth quarter of 2014.
Ireland will report Q1 growth data next month.