Recession continued in the eurozone and across the 27 EU members states GDP fell back into contraction in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the latest flash estimate from EU statistics office Eurostat. GDP contracted by 0.6 percent on the previous quarter in the eurozone during the last three months of 2012. It was the third consecutive quarterly contraction in the 17 euro area countries.
The overall results for the EU 27 were slightly better: 0.5 percent GDP contraction on the previous quarter in Q4 2012 after a 0.1 percent quarterly advance in Q3. This means that the EU 27 overall is not yet technically in recession.
Over the whole of 2012, GDP fell by 0.5 percent in the eurozone and by 0.3 percent across the EU27.
Comparing last year’s fourth quarter to Q4 2011, GDP contracted by 0.9 percent in the eurozone and 0.6 percent in the EU 27.
Romania’s 0.2 percent quarterly advance put the country among a group of only six EU member states to register an increase in GDP over Q4 2012. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia were the other five countries to register an advance, out of the available results. The largest growth in GDP in was in Latvia, which registered a 1.3 percent monthly advance in the final quarter of 2012.
With the addition of Germany and Austria, the same six countries registered year-on-year growth. The biggest rise was again in Latvia, where GDP growth compared to Q4 2011 was a chunky 5.7 percent.
Among the countries for which results were available, Portugal’s Q4 performance was the worst. In the final quarter of 2012, Portugal’s GDP slipped back by 1.8 percent on the previous three months, completing a year of consecutive quarterly contractions.
Greece’s woes continue, posting the worst year-on-year results with a 6 percent contraction in GDP in the last quarter of 2012, compared to the same period the previous year.
Liam Lever, email@example.com