Data published by Eurostat showed that in the 1st quarter, the gross domestic product of the eurozone grew by 0.1%, as expected, after stabilizing in the 4th quarter. Among the eurozone's largest economies, Germany registered no growth in the first quarter, while the Netherlands experienced a contraction. However, the economies of France, Italy, and Spain did see some expansion during the same period.
In annual terms, economic growth slowed to 1.3% from 1.8% in the previous quarter. Consensus estimates also assumed an increase of 1.3% per annum. While a more detailed breakdown of the GDP rise was not yet available, unadjusted trade data for the first quarter showed an 8.5% jump in exports over the same period of 2022 with unchanged imports, indicating net trade contributed to the growth.
Meanwhile, the GDP of the European Union countries grew by 0.2% in quarterly terms and grew by 1.2% per annum. In the 4th quarter, GDP fell by 0.1% over the quarter and grew by 1.7% per annum.
Separate data also showed that in the 1st quarter, the number of employed persons in the eurozone increased by 0.6%, accelerating compared to the 4th quarter (+0.3%) and exceeding economists' forecasts (+0.3%). In the EU, the number of employed also increased by 0.6% after an increase by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. On an annualized basis, employment in the eurozone grew by 1.7% compared with an increase by 1.5% in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, in the EU, employment growth accelerated to 1.6% from 1.3%.