The EU economy has decreased significantly in the first quarter

Экономика ЕС значительно сократилась в первом квартале

The economy of the 19 countries of the Eurozone in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 3.6% from the previous quarter, according to final data from the Statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat).

Preliminary data pointed to a more significant decline in GDP by 3.8%. However, this is the sharpest decline in the entire history of observations since 1995.

In annual terms, GDP decreased by 3.1%, the value of the index was also revised from preliminary values at the level of 3.2%. This is the maximum drop since the third quarter of 2009.

The experts did not expect the revision of both measures, according to data from Trading Economics.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the Eurozone economy grew by 0.1% on the previous quarter and by 1% in annual terms.

Consumer spending in the Euro area in January-March fell to 4.7% in quarterly terms and by 3.9% per annum. Public expenditure decreased by 0.4% on the previous quarter and increased 1% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Exports from the Eurozone fell by 4.2% compared with the previous three months and by 3.5% in annual terms. Imports declined 3.6% and 0.8% respectively.

The fall in GDP in the first quarter reflects the negative impact of restrictive measures, which began to widely introduced in the region from mid-March to curb the spread of coronavirus infection COVID-19.

GDP of the 27 member States of the European Union in January-March declined in quarterly terms by 3.2% compared with growth of 0.1% in the previous quarter. The decline in annual terms amounted to 2.6% against growth of 1.2 percent.

The fall in EU GDP from the previous quarter was also the strongest in the entire history of observations, and in annual terms the third quarter of 2009.

Among the largest economies in the bloc, France, Spain and Italy showed a record rate of decline, and the fall of Germany’s GDP was the highest since 2009. While Germany, France and Italy entered a recession.

Germany’s GDP in the first quarter fell by 2.2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, 2.3% in annual terms, the GDP of France fell by 5.3% QoQ and 5% compared to the first quarter of 2019, the GDP of Spain fell by 5.2% on the previous quarter and by 4.1% in annual terms, Italy’s GDP declined by 5.3% QoQ and 5.4% yoy.

The report also provides data on the dynamics of employment in the Eurozone in the first quarter. The number of employed persons in January-March decreased by 0.2% compared to the previous quarter and grew by 0.4% in annual terms. The fall in employment in quarterly terms, recorded for the first time since the second quarter of 2013.