Gross domestic product plummeted 6.4% in the European Union and 6.8% in the eurozone in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, ending seven years of growth in both areas, according to preliminary published data this Tuesday by Eurostat and collected by PRESS.In Spain, the fall was historic: 11%, the worst figure in peacetime. The French economy experienced a decline of 8.3% in 2020 (something unprecedented since the Second World War, although less than initially expected), Italy registered a decrease of 8.8% in all of 2020 (the Government expected a fall of 9 %) and in Germany GDP fell by 5%, the worst figure since 2009. The pandemic has caused falls in almost all the countries of the world and even those that grew, such as China, did so at a worse place.
The biggest collapse corresponded to the first wave of Covid-19 and the restrictions that were implemented to try to contain the disease from March (in this month the first confinement was imposed in Spain). All in all, the fall during the second quarter was 11.4% in the EU and 11.7% in the euro area.For their part, the summer months, in which the measures were relaxed, brought a rebound in GDP in the third quarter (11.5% and 12.4%, respectively) and in infections. The second wave brought a new drop during the last quarter of 2020.
In this period, GDP fell 0.5% in the Twenty-seven and 0.7% in the euro area compared to the previous three months. If compared with the fourth quarter of the previous year, the decline was 4.8% and 5.1%, respectively, according to data from the community statistical office.The 6.4% collapse in the EU and 6.8% in the euro area in 2020 as a whole is higher than that suffered in 2009, the worst year of the financial crisis in which the economy contracted by 4.3% and 4.4%, respectively. However, the drop was in both cases one point lower than that forecast last November by the European Commission, which predicted a contraction of GDP of 7.4% in the EU and 7.8% in the euro area. Brussels will present new forecasts for the European economy in the coming days.