Eurostat: Greece is the only EU country still in recession

EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Eurostat: Greece is the only EU country still in recession


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Household consumption and a rebound in investment drove economic growth in the euro zone in the last three months of last year, the latest data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat shows.

Eurostat confirmed its earlier estimate that the economy of the 19 countries sharing the euro grew 0.4 % quarter-on-quarter and 1.7 % year-on-year.

It said household consumption added 0.2 % points to the final quarterly growth number and capital investment added another 0.1 points, rebounding from a 0.1 point negative contribution in the third quarter.

Growing inventories added another 0.1 points and government spending another 0.1 points while net trade subtracted 0.1 points.

A total of 28 EU Member States achieved positive growth in late 2016 on a quarterly basis and on an annual basis. Three countries, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta, have not yet publish their data while the GDP of Finland remains stable.

Greece was the only country that was in negative territory, with GDP declining by 1.1% compared with the last quarter of 2015 and by 1.2% compared to the third quarter of 2016. Combined, the eurozone continued steady recovery, with the economy growing by 1.7% year on year and 0.4% on a quarterly basis. Messages were positive in the eurozone core.

Germany grew by 1.8% and France by 1.2%, while the third largest economy of the euro, Italy, increasing by 1%. Impressive was the growth of Spain as it reached 3%.

Social protection spending in Greece represented 20.5 % of the country’s GDP in 2015. This is slightly higher than both the Eurozone average ratio (20.1 pct of GDP) and the EU28 average ratio (19.2 pct of GDP).Social protection expenditure in EU member-states ranged from 9.6 % of GDP in Ireland to 25.6 % of GDP in Finland in that year.

Eight member-states (Finland, France, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Greece and Belgium) spent more than 20 % of GDP on social protection while Ireland, the Baltic states, Romania, Cyprus, Malta and the Czech Republic spend less than 13 pct.
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