Eurozone: Euro area GDP contracts more than expected
February 14, 2013
In the fourth quarter, Eurozone GDP dropped 0.6% over the previous period, according to the flash estimate released by the statistical office (Eurostat) on 14 February. The contraction was larger than both the 0.1% drop recorded in Q3 and the 0.2% fall expected by the market. In addition, the Q4 result marked the worst reading since the first quarter of 2009. On an annual basis, the economy contracted 0.9%, which marks a deterioration compared to the 0.6% drop recorded in the previous quarter. In the full year 2012, Eurozone GDP contracted 0.5%, contrasting the 1.4% expansion in 2011 and marking the second drop in output in the last four years.
All the major countries in the region experienced contractions in Q4. Germany, which accounts for nearly 30% of the Eurozone's output, fell 0.6% over the previous quarter, which contrasted the 0.2% rise seen in Q3. France dropped 0.3% compared to the previous quarter (Q3: +0.1% qoq), while Spain declined 0.7% over the previous quarter (Q3: -0.3% qoq). Finally, Italy posted a 0.9% drop, which represented a deterioration compared to the 0.2% contraction tallied in the previous quarter and marked the largest contraction among the four biggest Euro area economies.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions