European GDP suffers biggest hit in 25 years

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The GDP in the European Union decreased by 3.3 percent between January and March, compared with the previous quarter, marking the sharpest decline since records first started being complied in 1995. Flash estimates by Eurostat offer the first snapshot of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Compared with the first quarter of 2019, the EU’s GDP registered a drop of 2.6 percent; the decrease in the euro area was even more pronounced, estimated at 3.2 percent.

The effects were also reflected in employment numbers, witnessing a downturn of 0.2 percent from the last three months of 2019. This is the first time in seven years that quarterly employment figures for the bloc showed negative growth.

Although there was an increase in employment compared with the same period last year, the 0.3 percent increment represents the lowest year-on-year growth rate since 2014.

Only three members states registered a growth in GDP from the previous quarter: Romania and Bulgaria (both +0.3%) and Finland (+0.1%). The biggest falls were experienced by Slovakia (-5.4%), Spain (-5.2%), and Italy (-4.7%).

Data for Malta was not available by the date of publication.

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