Insider Economy Seasonally adjusted GDP rises by 0.2% in the euro area, 0.3% in...

Seasonally adjusted GDP rises by 0.2% in the euro area, 0.3% in the EU28 and 1.1% in Cyprus

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19), by 0.3% in the EU28, by 1.1% in Cyprus, but decreased by 0.1% in Greece during the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter, according to an estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

In the third quarter of 2018, GDP had grown by 0.1% in the euro area, by 0.3% in the EU28, by 0.8% in Cyprus and by 1.0% in Greece.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 1.1% in the euro area, by 1.4% in the EU28, by 3.9% in Cyprus and by 1.6% in Greece in the fourth quarter of 2018, after +1.6%, +1.8%, +3.7% and +2.1% respectively in the previous quarter.

During the fourth quarter of 2018, GDP in the United States increased by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter (after +0.8% in the third quarter of 2018). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP grew by 3.1% (after +3.0% in the previous quarter).

Over the whole year 2018, GDP rose by 1.8% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU28. The annual growth rate for 2017 was +2.4% for both the euro area and the EU28.

Among Member States for which data are available for the fourth quarter of 2018, Estonia (+2.2%) recorded the highest growth compared with the previous quarter, followed by Lithuania (+1.3%), Latvia and Sweden (both +1.2%). Decreases were observed in Greece and Italy (-0.1%), while GDP in Germany remained static.

Meanwhile, during the fourth quarter of 2018, household final consumption expenditure rose by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28 (after +0.1% and +0.2% respectively in the previous quarter). Gross fixed capital formation increased by 0.6% in the euro area and 0.4% in the EU28 (after +0.6% and +0.4% also). Exports increased by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU28 (after +0.2% in both zones). Imports increased by 0.5% in the euro area and 0.8% in the EU28 (after +1.1% and +0.8%).

Household final consumption expenditure had a positive contribution to GDP growth in both the euro area and the EU28 (+0.1 and +0.2 percentage points – pp) as had gross fixed capital formation (+0.1 pp in both zones). The contribution of the external balance to GDP growth was positive for both the euro area and for the EU28, while the contribution of changes in inventories was negative for both zones.

Employment:

The number of persons employed increased by 0.3% in the euro area, by 0.2% in the EU28 and by 0.1% in Greece in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter (data for Cyprus are not yet available). In the third quarter of 2018, employment increased by 0.2% in both zones, by 0.8% in Cyprus and by 0.3% 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 1.8% in Greece (data for Cyprus are not yet available), in the fourth quarter of 2018 (after +1.4%, +1.3% for the eurozone and the EU28 respectively, 3.7% for Cyprus and 1.7% for Greece, in the third quarter of 2018).

Over the whole year 2018, employment rose by 1.5% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28. The annual growth rate for 2017 was +1.6% for both the euro area and the EU28.

Among Member States for which data are available for the fourth quarter of 2018, Estonia (+1.7%), Finland and Sweden (both +0.8%) as well as Spain and Slovenia (both +0.7%) recorded the highest growth rates in employment compared with the previous quarter. Decreases were observed in Poland (-1.2%), Latvia (-0.6%), Bulgaria and Italy (both -0.2%).

Based on seasonally adjusted figures, Eurostat estimates that in the fourth quarter of 2018, 239.8 million people were employed in the EU28, of whom 158.9 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 10.2 million in the euro area and 15.7 million in the EU28 since the lowest level of employment after the financial crisis (2013 Q2 for euro area, 2013 Q1 for EU28).

According to Eurostat 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 year shows that productivity growth (based on employed persons) fluctuated around 1% for both zones between 2013 and 2017. The last quarters show a decline in labour productivity 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. Productivity growth turned negative for the euro area in the fourth quarter of 2018.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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