GDP growth in the monetary union remained the same as in the previous quarter. The economies of all 28 EU countries combined expanded by 0.4 percent, equal to the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2016, economic growth rates were 0.5 percent in both the euro area and in the EU28.
All EU economies expanding
Germany’s economy, the largest in the euro area, expanded by 0.2 percent. Spain again recorded solid GDP growth of 0.7 percent. In Belgium, growth slowed down to 0.2 percent. France and Italy both saw a modest upturn. Portugal’s economy improved by 0.8 percent while Slovakia posted strong growth at 0.7 percent.
Outside the euro area, economic growth continued in Bulgaria (+0,8 percent) and Romania (+0,6 percent). In Hungary and Poland, growth dropped to 0.2 percent. The UK economy accelerated by 0.5 percent.
Euro area GDP expands 1.6 percent year-on-year
GDP in the euro area expanded by 1.6 percent compared with the same quarter in 2015. The EU28 economies combined expanded by 1.8 percent year-on-year. The US economy picked up with a growth rate of 1.5 percent. As in the previous two quarters, China sustained economic growth at a rate of 6.7 percent. The Russian economy contracted by 0.4 percent year-on-year, but it is the smallest contraction in almost two years.