Econintersect: GDP numbers for Europe recorded the third consecutive quarter of growth for the last three months of 2013. For 4Q/2013 GDP rose by 0.3% (1.2% annualized) for the 17 nation euro zone and by 0.4% (1.6%) for the 28 European Union (EU) countries. Year-over-year comparisons show a GDP gain of 0.5% for the eurozone and 1.0% for the EU vs. 4Q/2012. However the calendar year GDP change was negative for the eurozone (-0.4%) and just barely positive for the EU (+0.1%). These are "flash" numbers from Eurotstat, the official statistical organization for the EU, and are subject to later revision. The next estimate is due from Eurostat 05 March 2014.
The report prompted some optimistic comments. For example, Anatoli Annenkov, senior economist at Societe Generale SA in London was quoted by Bloomberg:
"It looks like we're going into the first quarter with fairly strong momentum. That means we can be a bit more optimistic for this year. We've come a long way and this may be the silver lining for the ECB. But, of course, it is a gradual recovery."
Optimism, yes, but not without caution.
- Flash estimate for the fourth quarter of 2013 (Eurostat press release, 14 February 2014)
- Germany Beats Growth Estimates With France Amid Recovery ( Alessandro Speciale and Mark Deen, Bloomberg, 14 February 2014)