In the first quarter (Q1) 2021, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 0.6 per cent in the euro area and by 0.4 per cent in the European Union (EU), compared with the previous quarter, according to Eurostat, statistical office of the EU. The year-on-year growth rates were negative for all countries except for France (1.5 per cent) and Lithuania (1 per cent).
These declines follow falls in the fourth quarter of 2020 (0.7 per cent in the euro area and 0.5 per cent in the EU) after a strong rebound in the third quarter of 2020 (12.5 per cent in the euro area and 11.7 per cent in the EU), as per the preliminary flash estimate by Eurostat.
The sharpest decreases since the time this series started in 1995 were observed in the second quarter of 2020 (11.6 per cent in the euro area and 11.2 per cent in the EU). These preliminary GDP flash estimates are based on data sources that are incomplete and subject to further revisions, Eurostat said in its report.
Among the member states for which data are available for the first quarter 2021, Portugal recorded the highest decrease at 3.3 per cent compared to the previous quarter, followed by Latvia (2.6 per cent) and Germany (1.7 per cent), while Lithuania (1.8 per cent) and Sweden (1.1 per cent) recorded the highest increases.
The EU is an economic union of 27 member states located in Europe, while the euro area is a monetary union of EU’s 19 member states that have adopted the euro as their primary currency and sole legal tender.