Preliminary flash estimate for the first quarter of 2021
GDP down by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU
-1.8% and -1.7% respectively compared with the first quarter of 2020
In the first quarter 2021, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU, compared with the previous quarter, according to a preliminary flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. These declines follow falls in the fourth quarter of 2020 (-0.7% in the euro area and -0.5% in the EU) after a strong rebound in the third quarter of 2020 (+12.5% in the euro area and +11.7% in the EU) and the sharpest decreases since the time series started in 1995 observed in the second quarter of 2020 (-11.6% in the euro area and -11.2% in the EU).
These preliminary GDP flash estimates are based on data sources that are incomplete and subject to further revisions.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 1.8% in the euro area and by 1.7% in the EU in the first quarter of 2021, after -4.9% in the euro area and -4.6% in the EU in the previous quarter.
Among the Member States for which data are available for the first quarter 2021, Portugal (-3.3%) recorded the highest decrease compared to the previous quarter, followed by Latvia (-2.6%) and Germany (-1.7%), while Lithuania (+1.8%) and Sweden (+1.1%) recorded the highest increases. The year on year growth rates were negative for all countries except for France (+1.5%) and Lithuania (+1.0%).
Euro area (EA19): Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
European Union (EU27): Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.
Methods and definitions
European quarterly national accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010).
The preliminary flash estimate of the first quarter of 2021 GDP growth presented in this release is based on the data of 17 Member States, covering 93% of euro area GDP and 91% of EU GDP. The country coverage was not affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Two statistical working papers present the preliminary GDP flash methodology for the European estimates and Member States estimates. The method used for compilation of European GDP estimates is the same as for previous releases.
Revisions and timetable
With this preliminary flash estimate, euro area and EU GDP figures for earlier quarters are not revised.
All figures presented in this release may be revised with the GDP t+45 flash estimate scheduled for 18 May 2021 and subsequently by Eurostat’s regular estimates of GDP and main aggregates (including employment) scheduled for 8 June 2021 and 19 July 2021.
Data on revisions for test estimations, showing that the preliminary flash estimation procedure is sufficiently reliable, are available in chapter 5 of the statistical working paper Euro area and EU GDP flash estimates at 30 days.
For more information
Eurostat website section on national accounts, and specifically the page on quarterly national accounts Eurostat database section on national accounts and Eurostat metadata on quarterly national accounts
Eurostat “Statistics Explained” articles on measuring quarterly GDP, presentation of updated quarterly estimates and the impact of COVID-19 on main GDP aggregates including employment.
Note on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on national accounts, guidance on quarterly national accounts (including flash)
estimates in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and country specific metadata European System of Accounts 2010
Eurostat €-indicators release calendar
European Statistics Code of Practice