Euro-zone and EU25 GDP up by 0.5%

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Germany picks up

Real GDP grew by 0.5% in both the euro-zone and the EU25 during the first quarter of 2005, compared to the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

In the fourth quarter of 2004, growth rates were 0.2% in the euro-zone and 0.3% in the EU25.

In the first quarter of 2005, compared to the same quarter of the previous year, GDP grew by 1.4% in the euro-zone and by 1.7% in the EU25, after 1.6% and 1.9% respectively in the previous quarter.

It should be noted that these estimates are based on quarterly GDP reports from just a handful of countries. Data for Cyprus have not yet been made available.

Among the 7 reporting countries, the fastest growth was recorded in Lithuania, where GDP rose by 5.6% year on year in the first quarter. The UK was the second fastest at 2.8%, while Finland rose by 2.0% and Belgium by 1.8% year on year.

Germany picks up

A strong performance by historical standards was recorded by Germany, which rose by 1.0% compared with the previous quarter and by 1.1% year on year.

The Netherlands and Italy saw their economies decline compared with the year earlier, however, by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.

During the first quarter of 2005, US GDP increased by 0.8% compared to the previous quarter, and by 3.6% year on year.