Brussels – Eurozone output soared by 12.7 percent in the third quarter, its sharpest recorded increase, as the bloc bounced back from the depths of the coronavirus lockdown, according to the EU agency Eurostat.
But, despite the rebound, total gross domestic product in the 19-country zone is still 4.3 percent down on the third quarter of 2019, while unemployment numbers for September and the inflation estimate for October remained flat.
In the European Union as a whole, including member states outside the single currency area, GDP increased by 12.1 percent in the third quarter, but remained 3.9 percent down on the same period last year.
GDP growth in the EU, eurozone and selected countries
“These were by far the sharpest increases observed since time series started in 1995,” Eurostat said.
Europe is now in the grip of a second wave of the epidemic, and several countries have begun to reintroduce various forms and level of lockdown, promising further economic turbulence.
In September, the eurozone’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent, stable over August and up from 7.5 percent in September 2019 — implying that 15.9 million people are out of work in the EU, 13.6 million of them in the eurozone.
Eurostat’s first estimate for the annual eurozone inflation rate in October is stable at -0.3 percent, still well below the European Central Bank’s target of a positive rate just below two percent.
Map of the 19-member eurozone