Eurozone GDP


More complete data show mild GDP acceleration in Q4

In the fourth quarter, the Eurozone economy grew a seasonally-adjusted 0.3% in Q4, according to preliminary data released by Eurostat on 6 March. The reading came in slightly above the 0.2% rise observed in Q3 and was in line with market expectations. On an annual basis, GDP growth rose from 0.8% in Q3 to 0.9% in Q4.

The mild acceleration in Q4 reflected an improvement in the external sector and a stronger growth in fixed investment. Exports of goods and service services increased 0.8% in Q4 over the previous quarter, which followed the 1.5% expansion observed in Q3. Imports increased 0.4% in Q4, which came in below the 1.7% contraction witnessed in Q3. As exports expanded and imports contracted, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth was 0.2 percentage points in Q4, which improved over a flat reading in Q3.

On the domestic front, private consumption grew 0.4% in Q4 (Q3: +0.5% quarter-on-quarter) and government spending expanded 0.2%, mirroring an increase of the same magnitude in Q3. Meanwhile, fixed investment swung from a flat reading in Q3 to a 0.4% expansion in Q4.

The European Commission expects the Eurozone economy to increase 1.3% in 2015. In 2016, the Commission sees economic growth picking up to 1.9%. Meanwhile, in its March review of the economy, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised its 2015 GDP growth forecasts for the bloc’s economy and now expects it to expand 1.5% (previous estimate: +1.0%). For 2016, the ECB also raised its projection and now sees economic growth rising to 1.9%, which is up its previous 1.5% estimate. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to expand 1.2% in 2015, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2016 panelists see the economy growing 1.6%.

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Eurozone GDP Chart

Euro GDP Q4 2014 1

Note: Quarter-on-quarter changes of seasonally-adjusted GDP and year-on-year variation in %.
Source: Eurostat

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