Insider Economy GDP and employment rise in the euroarea EU28, Cyprus

GDP and employment rise in the euroarea EU28, Cyprus

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.4% in the euro area (EA19), by 0.5% in the EU28, by 0.9% in Cyprus and by 0.2% in Greece during the first quarter of 2019, compared with the previous quarter, according to an estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, GDP had grown by 0.2% in the euro area, by 0.3% in the EU28, by 0.9% in Cyprus and decreased by -0.1% in Greece.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 1.2% in the euro area by 1.5% in the EU28, by 3.5% in Cyprus and by 1.3% in Greece in the first quarter of 2019, after +1.2%, +1.5% , +3.8% and +1.5% respectively in the previous quarter.

During the first quarter of 2019, GDP in the United States increased by 0.8% compared with the previous quarter (after +0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2018). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP grew by 3.2% (after +3.0% in the previous quarter).

Among Member States for which data are available for the first quarter of 2019, Croatia (+1.8%) recorded the highest growth compared with the previous quarter, followed by Hungary and Poland (both +1.5%). A decrease was observed in Latvia (-0.1%).

During the first quarter of 2019, household final consumption expenditure rose by 0.5% in both the euro area and the EU28 (after +0.3% and +0.4% respectively in the previous quarter). Gross fixed capital formation increased by 1.1% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28 (after +1.4% and +1.1%). Exports increased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU28 (after +1.2% and +1.5%). Imports increased by 0.4% in the euro area and 1.2% in the EU28 (after +1.2% and +1.3%). Household final consumption expenditure had a positive contribution to GDP growth in both the euro area and the EU28 (+0.3 percentage points – pp – in both zones) and the contribution from gross fixed capital formation was also positive (respectively +0.2 and +0.3 pp) in both zones. The contribution of the external balance to GDP growth was positive for the euro area and negative for the EU28, while the contribution of changes in inventories was negative for the euro area (-0.3 pp) and positive for the EU28 (+0.1 pp).

At the same time, the number of persons employed increased by 0.3% in both the euro area and the EU28 and by 0.6% in Greece (no data available for Cyprus) in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the previous quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, employment increased by 0.3% in the euro area, by 0.2% in the EU28, by 0.8% in Cyprus and 0.2% in Greece.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment increased by 1.3% in the euro area by 1.2% in the EU28 and by 2.1% in Greece (no data available for Cyprus) in the first quarter of 2019 after +1.3% in the euro area , +1.2% in the EU28, 3.5% in Cyprus and 1.5% in Greece respectively in the fourth quarter of 2018).

Among Member States for which data are available for the first quarter of 2019, Hungary (+1.0%), Spain (+0.7%), as well as Greece, Lithuania and the Netherlands (all +0.6%) recorded the highest growth compared with the previous quarter. Decreases were observed in Estonia (-0.4%), while employment in Finland and Sweden remained stable.

Based on seasonally adjusted figures, Eurostat estimates that in the first quarter of 2019, 240.7 million people were employed in the EU28, of which 159.5 million were in the euro area. These are the highest levels of employment ever recorded in both areas. More specifically, the number of persons employed has increased by 10.8 million in the euro area and 16.6 million in the EU28 since the lowest level of employment after the financial crisis (2013 Q2 for euro area, 2013 Q1 for EU28).

The combination of GDP and employment data allows an estimation of labour productivity. The analysis of growth compared to the same quarter of the previous years shows that productivity growth (based on employed persons) fluctuated around 1% for both zones since 2013. The last quarters show a decline that is more pronounced for the euro area than for the EU28 since the slowdown of growth was relatively more pronounced for GDP than for employment in the euro area, with a stabilisation in the first quarter of 2019.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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