The Eurozone economy grew 0.2 percent on quarter in the final three months of 2018, matching the third quarter rate, which had been the lowest since the second quarter of 2014.
Among countries for which data is already available, Italy's economy contracted by a steeper than expected 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter due to a fall in domestic demand, after a 0.1 percent decline in the previous period and throwing the country into recession for the first time since early 2013. GDP growth rates in France, Belgium and Austria were unchanged at 0.3 percent, 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively; while Spain's economy expanded at a faster pace (0.7 percent vs 0.6 percent). Lithuania's economy grew 1.6 percent (vs 0.1 percent in Q3) and Latvia's GDP advanced 1.1 percent (vs 1.8 percent in Q3). Germany, the biggest economy in the Euro Area, is expected to release preliminary GDP estimates in two weeks.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the Euro Area economy expanded 1.2 percent in the three months to December, following a 1.6 percent growth in the previous period and matching market consensus. In 2018, the GDP rose 1.8 percent.
Considering the European Union as a whole, GDP growth was steady at 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter; and eased to 1.5 percent year-on-year (vs 1.8 percent in Q3). In 2018, the GDP increased 1.9 percent.
1/31/2019 10:33:16 AM