Eurozone GDP drops 12.1% in second quarter

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 12.1% in the euro area and declined 11.9% in the EU in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the previous quarter, according to a preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

“These were by far the sharpest declines observed since time series started in 1995,” said Eurostat.

“In the first quarter of 2020, GDP had decreased by 3.6% in the euro area and by 3.2% in the EU.

“These preliminary GDP flash estimates are based on data sources that are incomplete and subject to further revisions under the COVID-19 containment measures.

“The next estimates for the second quarter of 2020 will be released on 14 August 2020.”

Among member states for which data are available for the second quarter of 2020, Spain (-18.5%) recorded the highest decline compared to the previous quarter, followed by Portugal (-14.1%) and France (-13.8%). 

Lithuania (-5.1%) recorded the lowest decline.

ING bank senior economist Bert Colijin told the AFP news agency that the drop “doesn’t tell us that much about the general state of the economy” due to the unusual cirumstances.

“It is a shocking drop, but completely understandable as the economy was shut down for a considerable period during the quarter …

“The hard part of this recovery is set to start about now.”