The European economy returned to strong growth in the second quarter of this year, thanks to progress in vaccination against COVID-19 and the gradual lifting of health restrictions.
|Euro symbol in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: AFP/VNA|
According to the data of the European Statistics Agency (Eurostat) released on August 17, the gross domestic product (GDP) of the euro area (Eurozone) in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 2% compared to the first quarter of 2021. , after two consecutive quarters of declines, in line with the first estimate released at the end of July.
For the entire European Union (EU), economic growth reached 1.9%. Among the leading European countries, France recorded the lowest increase (+0.9%), behind Spain (+2.8%), Italy (+2.7%) and Germany (+ 1.5%). Portugal alone had the highest GDP growth at +4.9 percent. With this growth, the Eurozone economy showed better performance than the US (+1.6%) and China (+1.3%).
In the first quarter, Eurozone GDP shrank 0.3%, after falling 0.6% in the last three months of 2020.
Experts expect this strong recovery in the period from April to June 2021 thanks to the gradual lifting of health restrictions, which slow down activities, especially in the transportation sector, hotels and restaurants and tourism.
The improvement in growth has had an impact on the job market. According to Eurostat, the number of employed people increased by 0.5% in the Eurozone and by 0.6% in the EU between April-June 2021, after falling 0.2% in the January-March period. 2021. The number of jobs in the Eurozone in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 1.8% compared to the same period in 2020.
At the beginning of July, the European Commission (EC) said that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in the “Old Continent”, in the context of the strong spread of the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-virus- 2 caused the COVID-19 epidemic, GDP will return to pre-crisis levels by the fourth quarter of 2021. Southern European countries are hardest hit by the closure of the tourism industry because of the pandemic. Recovery will even have to wait until the second half of 2022.
Meanwhile, the US hit this growth target in the spring and China late last year.