Gross domestic product (GDP) of the euro area and European Union (EU) remained motionless in the first quarter, registering zero growth, according to Eurostat confirmed today after reviewing its first data.
The figures in this second estimate, which are again based on information provided by Member States-no change to the advancement published on 15 May by the EU statistics office.
This confirms that in the first three months of the year the European economy was on the verge of recession, after 0.3% fall in both the euro area and EU as a whole had occurred in the last quarter of 2011.
The rise of Germany (which grew by 0.5% between January and March after a decline of 0.2% in the previous three months) offset the negative data from a number of countries and, in particular, several large EU economies.
Eurostat as advanced in its first estimate, French GDP was stable in the first quarter, while Spain fell into recession when stringing a second quarterly drop of 0.3%, and Italy saw its activity contracted a 0, 8%, following cuts of 0.2% and 0.7% in the previous periods.
Outside the euro the situation is not better, because the UK is also in recession, with GDP falling 0.3% between January and March (tenth worse than the first data released in May) and other countries such as Hungary or the Czech Republic recorded a significant slowdown in economic activity.
As for the components of GDP, household consumption remained stable in the first quarter of 2012 both in the euro area and the EU, after having recorded in the previous period falls of 0.5% and 0 , 2%, respectively.
Fixed capital formation fell by 1.4% in the countries of the euro and 0.9% in the twenty-seven, after earlier falling 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.
Meanwhile, exports grew by 1% in the euro area and 0.6% in the whole Union after declines of 0.7% and 0.3% in the last three months of 2011.
Imports, meanwhile, rose 0.1% in both zones, recovering after sharp falls (-1.7% in the euro area and -1.3 in the twenty-seven) of the previous quarter.