Friday, 21 September, 2018

Latvia showed faster GDP growth than European Union on average in Q4

A worker at a cork factory in Portugal which cut its deficit sharply last year A worker at a cork factory in Portugal which cut its deficit sharply last yearPATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA AFP
Nellie Chapman | 15 February, 2018, 19:01

Gross domestic product climbed 0.6 percent sequentially, following third quarter's 0.7 percent expansion. The report showed +2.7% growth in GDP in the eurozone and +2.6% in the EU28 compared to the last quarter of 2016. The same growth rate is also noted by the European Union as a whole. No breakdown of data is now available from the statistical office.

The bloc of 28 countries put in a strong performance in the final quarter of the year, growing 0.6%, mainly driven by good economic results from Germany, Spain and France.

GDP grew 2.5% in 2017, with economies of Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Slovakia doing particularly well. On the pessimistic side of the balance, higher energy costs (oil) and a strengthening Euro could limit growth going forward.

Dutch GDP growth doubled to 0.8 percent from 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, growth of USA exports to the region has been the slowest among all of the bloc's major trading partners.

Growth improved progressively on a quarterly basis in 2017 when Luxembourg recorded -0.5%, 0.7% and 1.7% improvements from the first to the third quarters.

Germany and France emerged again as the EU's main engines with respective national economic growth at levels unseen since 2007 when it reached 3.0% and policymakers might quickly interpret such development as the very end of the 2008 financial crisis in the EU.

In a separate release, Eurostat said industrial production grew for the third consecutive month in December.

Likewise, the forecast for next year was upgraded to 2 percent from 1.9 percent.

An acceleration in industrial production growth was not enough to prevent a slight slowdown in eurozone GDP growth in the fourth quarter, Stephen Brown, an economist at Capital Economics, said.