Economic growth in the EU loses momentum

Europe´s GDP has grown much less in the second quarter than expected. Thus, GDP grow by just 0.3% in the Eurozone (EZ13) as compared to the first quarter and by only 0.5% in the EU27. In the first quarter of 2007 the growth rate had been +0.7% in the Eurozone and the EU27. These figures were provided by Eurostat, which is the EU´s statistical office.

Even compared with growth in the second quarter of last year this year´s second quarter growth rate was very low. Thus, it amounted to just +2.5% (Eurozone) and +2.8% (EU27). In the first quarter of 2007 the increases as compared to the first quarter of 2006 had still been +3.1% (Eurozone) and +3.3% (EU27).

The comparison with other economic areas shows different developments: over the second quarter 2007 the GDP of the United States increased by 0.8% as compared with the previous quarter after it had increased by +0.2% in the first quarter. In Japan GDP grow by 0.1% in the second quarter this year after +0.8% in the first quarter. The comparison with the respective quarter in 2006 shows that GDP in the USA increased by 1.8% in the second quarter of 2007 as compared to the same quarter in 2006 (+1.5% in the first quarter) while the respective percentages for Japan were +2.3% and +2.6%.

The above figures provided by Eurostat prompted the EU Commission to lower their 2007 growth forecast for the Eurozone. The GDP forecasts for the third quarter 2007 is now +0.3% (Eurozone) and +0.8% (EU27). At the same time the forecasts for the following two quarters were lowered as well. GERMAN