BUSINESS

Eurozone suffers double-dip recession as pandemic impact continues

April 30, 2021
Europe's economy officially entered a double-dip recession in the first three months of the year, as it struggled with a surge in COVID-19 cases and a slow vaccine rollout. — Courtesy file photo
Europe's economy officially entered a double-dip recession in the first three months of the year, as it struggled with a surge in COVID-19 cases and a slow vaccine rollout. — Courtesy file photo



BRUSSELS — Europe's economy officially entered a double-dip recession in the first three months of the year, as it struggled with a surge in COVID-19 cases and a slow vaccine rollout.

GDP shrank by 0.6 percent across the Eurozone in the first quarter, and by 0.4 percent across the wider EU27, the latest Eurostat figures show.

That left the European economy contracting for the second quarter in a row, and slipping into a double-dip recession after a rebound in growth last autumn.

However, among the national economies that have reported data so far, that pattern was repeated only by Italy.

Other countries reported some growth in one or other of the last two quarters.

The French economy did grow in the first three months of this year, by 0.4 percent, after a decline at the end of 2020, although the rebound was described by the national statistical agency as "limited".

In Germany, it was the other way around, with some growth in the fourth quarter of last year and a sharp decline — of 1.7 percent — revealed by the latest figures.

The drop in output was smaller than the 1 percent contraction expected by economists, but still far short of the rebound seen in the United States and China, two other pillars of the global economy.

US growth figures released on Thursday showed that the US economy grew 1.6 percent during the first quarter, buoyed by widespread coronavirus vaccinations and massive federal stimulus spending.

Economists expect Europe to also see an upturn in the coming weeks as the continent's vaccine rollout accelerates and coronavirus lockdowns are eased. — Agencies


April 30, 2021
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