Europe: GDP Grows in First Quarter, Inflation Stable

Eurostat’s first estimates for the quarter from January to March 2024 call for seasonally adjusted GDP growth of 0.3% compared to the previous quarter for both the eurozone and the European Union. However, GDP in the eurozone fell by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023, while in the EU it remained stable. Comparing the first quarter of 2024 with the same period in 2023, we see seasonally adjusted GDP growth of 0.4% in the euro area and 0.5% in the EU.

Among Member States (but not all data are yet available), Ireland shows the highest growth (+1.1%), followed by Latvia, Lithuania, and Hungary (all +0.8%). The only country with a decrease is Sweden (–0.1%). Among the largest nations, France and Germany rose 0.2%, Italy rose 0.3%, and Spain rose 0.7%.

Eurostat also provided data related to annual inflation, which should remain at 2.4% in April 2024, stable compared to March. Among the main components of euro area inflation, the highest inflation rates are associated with services (3.7%), food, alcohol, and tobacco products (2.8%). Next are non-energy industrial goods (0.9%) and energy (–0.6%).