European GDP Declines Slow in First Quarter

The recession in Europe got “less bad” in the first quarter of this year, if that is any comfort to the millions of people who are out of work and tens of thousands of businesses that are struggling to remain open. If the contraction continues, no matter what the rate, it is a sign that any real recovery is quarters away, if not years.

Eurostat says of gross domestic product in Europe:

GDP fell by 0.2% in the euro area1 (EA17) and by 0.1% in the EU27 during the first quarter of 2013, compared with the previous quarter, according to second estimates published by Eurostat

In the fourth quarter of 2012, growth rates were -0.6% and -0.5% respectively. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP fell by 1.1% in the euro area and by 0.7% in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2013, after -1.0% and -0.7% respectively in the previous quarter.

Not surprisingly, the worst of the damage among the region’s largest economies was in France (down 0.2%), Italy (down 0.5%) and Spain (down 5.0%).

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