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EU economic growth grinds to a halt in second quarter

GDP in both the EU and the Eurozone grew by just 0.2 per cent between April and June – a big drop from the previous quarter.

Image: basheertome via Flickr

EUROPEAN ECONOMIC OUTPUT continued to grow in the second quarter of 2011, but only barely, according to new statistics published by Eurostat.

The figures showed that Gross Domestic Product – the total value of economic output – grew by 0.2 per cent in both the 27-member Eurozone and the 17-member Euro area between the months of April and June.

Though that amount was up significantly on the same quarter from last year – up by 1.6 per cent in the case of the Eurozone, and by 1.7 per cent overall – it shows a serious slowdown in the pace of the European recovery.

GDP had risen by 0.8 per cent on average across the Eurozone in the first quarter of this year, and by 0.7 per cent in the EU as a whole.

Ireland’s Central Statistics Office is not due to publish data on the growth of Ireland’s own domestic economy until the end of the month, so it is not possible for the moment to compare Ireland’s performance to that of the Eurozone as a whole.

The CSO’s last figures showed suggested that Irish GDP had increased by 1.3 per cent in the first quarter – and had fallen by 1.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2010.

The Eurostat data showed that Latvia had by far the largest economic growth in the first quarter, with its economy growing by 2.2 per cent, overtaking Estonia which had growth of 1.8 per cent, the highest of any Euro member.

Poland’s economy grew by 1.1 per cent, while non-Euro members Sweden and Denmark saw their economies grow by 1 per cent.

While a number of states saw their economies stagnate – with France, Portugal and Hungary reporting growth of 0.0 per cent – no contractions had been shown among the 23 member states which have so far produced economic data for that period.

Read the Eurostat data in full (PDF) >

Read: Central Bank scales down expectations for economic growth >

More: Ireland’s economy to stagnate in 2011: OECD >

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Gavan Reilly

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