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Economy in Brief

Strong First Quarter Growth In The Euro Area, Particularly In Germany
by Louise Curley June 3, 2008

Revised figures for growth in Gross Domestic Product in the Euro Area in the first quarter of this year, published today, were better than the flash estimates reported earlier--an increase of 0.8% instead of 0.7%. Growth in Germany was 1.5%, in part the result of unusually high activity in the construction field due to mild winter weather. The quarterly rates of growth in Germany, France, Italy and the entire Euro Area are shown in the first chart. Germany's performance is a clear stand out.

The performance of the area and of Germany in particular was in stark contrast to that of the United States, where real GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.22% in the first quarter of 2008. At annual rates, the Euro Area grew 3.2% and Germany grew 6.3%.

Most forecasters expect growth in the Euro Area and in Germany to slow in the remaining quarters of 2008, but some have begun to raise their forecasts for the whole year as a result of the strong first quarter. The IMF has recently raised its 2008 forecast for the Euro Area from 1.4 % to 1.75%

REAL GDP (Billions of Chained 2000Euros)  Q1 08 Q4  07  Q1 07  Q/Q %   Y/Y %   2007% 2006% 2005%
Euro Area 1946.9 1931.5 1905.8 0.80 2.16 2.65 2.92 1.75
Germany 572.1 563.5 557.4 1.53 2.64 2.62 3.08 0.97
France 414.1 411.5 405.0 0.64 2.25 2.11 2.36 1.92
Italy 321.8 320.5 321.2 0.41 0.18 1.36 1.90 0.68
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