Business & Economy

Coronavirus takes historic dent out of Europe’s economy in Q2

Brussels, Jul 31 (efe-epa).- The European Union’s GDP suffered an 11.9 percent drop in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of sweeping lockdowns across the continent to contain the spread of Covid-19, according to the latest Eurostat report Friday.

Results from eurozone countries showed an even greater 12.1 percent decrease in the same period.

The GDP shrinkage in both the EU and the eurozone were the sharpest since records began in 1995, the bloc’s statistical office said.

Compared to the second quarter of 2019, the EU and eurozone GDP contracted 14.4 percent and 15 percent respectively.

The coronavirus pandemic is behind the unprecedented economic plunge and left no member state unscathed.

Spain, which has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in Europe, shed 18.5 percent of its GDP while France dropped 13.8 percent, Italy dropped 12.4 percent and Germany dropped 10.1 percent, according to estimates.

The economic contraction between April and June, a period of time spanning the end of the height of the pandemic and most countries’ gradual easing of the lockdown, was three times greater than that registered during the first quarter, which was 3.2 percent in the EU and 3.6 percent in the eurozone.

Although lockdowns were in place from mid-March, April saw the strictest measures being applied, often including a complete halt to economic activity.

Speaking on the eurozone reports, Bert Colijn, an analyst with Dutch banking group ING said: “The -12.1 percent Q-o-Q growth rate is the worst ever recorded and a pretty difficult one to interpret.”

“It is a shocking drop, but completely understandable as the economy was shut for a considerable period during the quarter.

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