Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, released today its quarterly GDP and employment figures which shows an economy still suffering from COVID-related economic downturn. In Q2 of this year, the euroarea economy shrank by -11.8%. Exports and Imports were also hard hit as global trade shrank due to less overall demand. Spain recorded the sharpest decline of -18.5%, followed by Croatia (-14.9%), Hungary (-14.5%) and Greece (-14%).
This data shows the worst ever contraction to be recorded by Eurostat stemming mostly from from lower household consumption, decreased investment and government spending. Those three expenditure aggregates worsened by more than double quarter on quarter.
Employment suffered also, with the number of employed persons declining by 2.9% in Q2. Again this was the sharpest decline in Eurostat recording history. Again Spain suffered most with a decline of -7.5%, Ireland (-6.1%) and Hungary (-5.3%). The sole country in positive territory was Malta, growing by 0.6% mostly due to having a fiscal surplus pre-COVID and by launching a set of measures to support businesses, employers and employees.
Euroarea includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
image credit : United Nations Industrial Development Organization