According to a preliminary flash estimate of the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat, economic output in the 19 countries sharing the euro in January-March was 3.8 percent smaller than in the previous three months – the sharpest quarterly decline since the time series started in 1995. Reuters had polled several economists who had forecast a 3.5 percent contraction in the eurozone economy. This follows marginal growth of 0.1 percent in the final three months of 2019.
This latest slump for economic output in the 19 countries sharing the euro will set alarm bells ringing in Brussels, as it is worse than during the financial crisis of 2008-09.
It is also the sharpest quarterly decline since the time series started in 1995.
The wider EU economy also suffered a huge blow, with GDP shrinking 3.3 percent year-on-year during the three-month period.
Financial analysts have painted a bleak picture for the eurozone, warning there could be much worse to come as coronavirus lockdowns continue to be enforced throughout Europe.
Carsten Brzeski, Chief Economist ING Germany, tweeted: “In case the #ECB needed any more bad news for its briefing notes, #Eurozone GDP fell by 3.8% QoQ in the first quarter.
“And this was only with roughly two weeks of lockdown and supply chain disruptions.
“Brace yourself for worse to happen.”
This is a breaking story. More to follow.
Source: Read Full Article