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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

July 31, 2020


In the preliminary estimate, Eurostat reports that real GDP growth declined 39.8 per cent (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) in the European Union and 40.3 per cent in the Euro Area in the second quarter of 2020. These were the sharpest declines observed since time series started in 1995. In the first quarter activity was lower 12.1 per cent in the EU27 and 13.6 per cent in the EA19.

Comparing Q2 2020 with Q2 2019, seasonally adjusted real GDP decreased by 14.4 per cent in the European Union and 15.0 per cent in the Euro Area. These were by far the sharpest declines since the time series started in 1995.

Among member states with data at this time, Spain (-22.1%), Portugal (-16.5%), France (-19.0%) reported the largest declines and Lithuania (-3.7%) had the smallest decline compared to Q2 2019. Germany real GDP declined 11.7 per cent compared to Q2 2019. 

A seasonally adjusted annualized rate shows what the percent change would be if the quarterly rate continued for four quarters. It is computed by compounding the quarterly rate for four quarters. Reporting annualized rates facilitates comparability between annual and quarterly growth, but can exaggerate change when series are volatile. The COVID-19 shocks of do not indicate a contraction of EU GDP by 39.8 per cent in Q2.  It would take four quarters of compounded contraction at the same pace as reported in Q2 to reduce EU GDP by 39.8 per cent. Real GDP in Q2 contracted 11.9 per cent in the EU27 and 12.1 per cent in the EA19 compared to Q1 2020.


Source: Eurostat

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