The eurozone growth slowed down substantially in the fourth quarter of 2022, when the gross domestic product (GDP) of the region expanded at a rate of 0.1%, compared to 0.3% in the three previous months, according to preliminary data published by Eurostat. In this way, despite the fact that the expansion of the euro zone stopped at the end of last year to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2021, the region removes the risk of technical recession, which implies two consecutive quarters of contraction in activity.
In the set of European Union (EU), GDP growth stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2022, after the three tenths of a point expansion observed in the third quarter of last year. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, growth in the euro area was 1.9%, while that of the group of Twenty seven was 1.8%. Thus, according to a first estimate of annual growth for 2022, GDP increased by 3.5% in the euro area and 3.6% in the EU.
Among the countries for which data were available, Ireland (+3.5%) posted the largest increase in GDP in the fourth quarter compared to the previous three months, followed by Latvia (+0,3%), spain y Portugal (both +0.2%). In contrast, the greatest decreases were recorded in Lithuania (-1.7%), as well as in Austria (-0,7%) y Sweden (-0.6%). Eurostat plans to publish a second estimate of GDP growth data for the fourth quarter on February 14.
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