The Eurostat switched to a new method to compute national accounts. The new estimation method known as ESA 2010 provides a revised set of concepts, definitions, classifications and accounting rules that enable the EU Member States to produce consistent, reliable and comparable statistical descriptions of their economies. The new measure takes into account activities such as research and development spending and expenditure on weapon systems that were not included in the old method ESA 95.
While there is an impact on the GDP levels, the effect of the changes on growth rates for both the EU and the euro area aggregates is very limited. The change in the annual GDP growth rates over the years 1997-2013 was around +/-0.1 percentage points for both the euro area and the EU28.
Further to ESA 2010 based estimations, seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 0.1 percent in the euro area and by 0.2 percent in the EU-28 in the second quarter of 2014, compared with the previous quarter. In the last ESA 95 based estimation, the figures were 0.0 percent and +0.2 percent respectively.
For the first quarter of 2014, further to ESA 2010 estimations, GDP grew by 0.3 percent in the euro area and by 0.4 percent in the EU-28, revised slightly upwards compared with +0.2 percent and +0.3 percent respectively further to ESA 95 based estimations.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP further to ESA 2010 based estimations rose by 0.8 percent in the euro area and by 1.3 percent in the EU-28 in the second quarter of 2014, after +1.0 percent and +1.5 percent respectively in the previous quarter. This constitutes again a slight upward revision compared with the ESA 95 estimation.