ZAGREB, Sept 8, 2020 – Croatia is among the EU countries with the sharpest GDP declines in Q2 of this year compared with the previous quarter, according to Eurostat’s estimate released on Tuesday.
In the second quarter of 2020, compared with the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 11.4% in the EU and by 11.8% in the euro area. In the first quarter of the year, GDP had declined by 3.3% in the EU and by 3.7% in the euro area.
Compared with the second quarter of 2019, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 13.9% in the EU and by 14.7% in the euro area, following declines of 2.7% and 3.2% respectively in the first quarter.
Spain sees by far the sharpest drop
All the EU member states recorded declines in economic activity in the second quarter, both month on month and year on year.
The sharpest quarterly decline, of 18.5%, was recorded in Spain, followed by Croatia (-14.9%), Hungary (-14.5%), Greece (-14.0%), Portugal (-13.9%) and France (-13.8%). In the first quarter of the year, Croatia observed a GDP decline of 1.3% quarter on quarter.
Germany, the EU’s strongest economy, saw its GDP shrink by 9.7%.
The lowest quarterly declines of GDP were observed in Finland (-4.5%), Lithuania (-5.5%), and Estonia (-5.6%).
Compared with the second quarter of 2019, the largest GDP declines were recorded in Spain (-22.1%), France (-18.9%), and Italy (-17.7%). The German economy contracted by 11.3%.
Croatia’s GDP fell by 15.1% compared with the second quarter of last year, while in the first quarter of this year it had grown by 0.3% year on year.
The lowest annual declines were observed in Ireland (-3.7%) and Lithuania (-4.0%).
A heavy blow to employment
The pandemic and measures put in place to contain the spread of the infection dealt a heavy blow to employment both in the EU and the euro area, resulting in the sharpest declines in the number of people employed in both zones since Eurostat started tracking data.
The number of employed persons decreased by 2.7% in the EU and by 2.9% in the euro area in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the previous quarter. In the first quarter of this year, employment had declined by 0.2% in the EU and by 0.3% in the euro area.
Compared with the second quarter of 2019, employment fell by 2.9% in the EU and by 3.1% in the euro area, after increasing by 0.4% in both zones in the first quarter.