European GDP growth at +3,2%

20 March 2008

GDP in the 27 EU countries was +3,2% higher in the first quarter of this year, compared to Q1 2006, according to new figures from Eurostat. Economic growth was more subdued in the Euro Zone, with a +3,0% increase. However, these figures were down on GDP growth for 2006 as a whole – +3,5% for the EU 27 and +3,3% for the Euro zone.

The fastest growing economies in Europe over the first three months of the year were the Baltic states. Economic output in Latvia was +10,7% higher than in Q1 2006, while the figures for Estonia and Lithuania were +9,9% and +8,0% respectively. Slovakia also showed strong growth with a + 9,0% year-on-year increase in GDP.

Of the ‘Big 5' economies, Spain lead the way with a +4,1% increase. Germany's economy grew +3,6% in the 12 months to the end of March, shortly followed by France at +3,5%. The UK was a little further adrift at +2,9% GDP growth and Italy's figure was +2,3%.

According to Eurostat, these all compare favourably to the other developed regions of the world. Over the same period the Japanese economy grew by +2,2% and US GDP rose by just +1,9%.

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