In the fourth quarter of 2020, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU, compared with the previous quarter, according to a flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. These declines follow a strong rebound in the third quarter of 2020 (+12.4% in the euro area and +11.5% in the EU) and the sharpest decreases since the time series started in 1995 observed in the second quarter of 2020 (-11.7% in the euro area and -11.4% in the EU). According to the first estimation of annual growth for 2020, based on seasonally and calendar adjusted quarterly data, GDP fell by 6.8% in the euro area and 6.4% in the EU.
Looking at year-on-year growth in Q4 2020, the economies of Lithuania, Romania and Latvia contracted the least within the EU with each of them recording a growth rate of about -2%. Other CEE countries rank in the middle – Slovakia (#6), Poland (#7), Hungary (#12), Czechia (#16).
Romania with 5.3% is ranked first in terms of quarter-on-quarter GDP growth, followed by Bulgaria (2.1%), Cyprus, Lithuania and Hungary (1.1%). The economies of Czechia and Slovakia grew by 0.3% and 0.2%, while that of Poland’s contracted by 0.7%
Overall, the fourth quarter of 2020 brought better-than-expected economic performances in Europe. Those countries that implemented strict lockdown measures and restrictions were hit the hardest in the second wave of the pandemic.
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