Eurozone: Growth dips in Q1
May 2, 2018
The Eurozone economy lost steam in the first quarter of 2018, starting the year off on a sour note after a stellar 2017. According to a preliminary estimate released by Eurostat, GDP increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.4% in Q1 from the previous quarter, which was below Q4 2017’s 0.7% rise and marked the slowest growth since Q3 2016. The reading was broadly in line with market analysts’ expectations. Compared with the same quarter of 2017, seasonally-adjusted GDP expanded 2.5% in Q1, which was below Q4 2017’s 2.8% increase.
The preliminary GDP data did not include a breakdown by components, but weaker sentiment and a strong euro likely weighed on the Eurozone’s economic performance. Additional data released by national statistical institutes revealed that growth waned in Austria, Belgium and France in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Spain expanded at a solid rate, clocking a third consecutive quarter of steady growth. More complete GDP data will be released on 15 May and 7 June.
Eurozone GDP Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the Euro area economy to expand 2.3% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, panelists expect the economy to expand 1.9%.