GDP growth in the euro area and EU28
Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2% in both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 during the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter, according to a flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2018, GDP had grown by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU28 in the fourth quarter of 2018, after +1.6% and +1.8% respectively in the third quarter.
Over the whole year 2018, GDP rose by 1.8% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU28, based on seasonally and calendar adjusted quarterly data. The annual growth rate for 2017 was +2.4% for both the euro area and the EU28.
Employment growth in the euro area and EU28
The number of employed persons increased by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU28 in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter. In the third quarter of 2018, employment had grown by 0.2% in both the euro area and in the EU28.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment increased by 1.2% in both the euro area and the EU28 in the fourth quarter of 2018, after +1.3% and +1.2% respectively in the third quarter of 2018.
Over the whole year 2018, employment rose by 1.4% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28, based on unadjusted quarterly data. The annual growth rate for 2017 was +1.6% for both the euro area and the EU28.
These data provide a picture of labour input consistent with the output and income measure of national accounts.
Growth rates of employment in persons
change compared with|
the previous quarter
(based on seasonally adjusted data)
change compared with|
the same quarter of the previous year
(based on unadjusted data)
Growth rates of GDP in volume
(based on seasonally adjusted* data)
|Percentage change compared with the previous quarter||Percentage change compared with the same quarter of the previous year|
: Data not available.
* Growth rates to the previous quarter and to the same quarter of the previous year presented in this table are generally both based on seasonally and calendar adjusted figures since unadjusted data are usually not transmitted for the compilation of GDP flash estimates.
** Percentage change compared with the same quarter of the previous year calculated from calendar adjusted data.
*** The seasonal adjustment does not include a calendar adjustment for Slovakia and Iceland.
The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Methods and definitions
European quarterly national accounts are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010). They include key policy indicators of GDP and employment.
Gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices measures the production activity of resident production units. Growth rates are based on chain-linked volumes.
Employment covers employees and self-employed working in resident production units (domestic concept). While employment flash estimates are limited to total employment in persons, regular estimates also cover hours worked and industry breakdowns.
The first estimation of annual GDP growth rates is derived by dividing the sum of the four quarters of 2018 by the sum of the four quarters of 2017 using seasonally and calendar adjusted series. Regular annual estimates may include working day effects. The first estimation of annual employment growth rates is derived by dividing the average of the four quarters of 2018 by the average of the four quarters of 2017 using unadjusted series.
Release schedule of main aggregates
Comprehensive estimates of European main aggregates (including GDP and employment) are based on countries regular transmissions and published around 65 and 100 days after the end of each quarter. To improve the timeliness of key indicators, Eurostat also publishes flash estimates for GDP (after around 30 and 45 days) and employment (after around 45 days). Their compilation is based on estimates provided by EU Member States on a voluntary basis.
This news release presents flash estimates for euro area and EU GDP and employment growth after around 45 days.
The GDP estimates of the fourth quarter 2018 are based on Member States’ data covering 96% of EA19 and 95% of EU28 GDP while employment estimates are based on Member States’ data covering 95% of EA19 and 91% of EU28 total employment.
Revisions and timetable
The reliability of GDP and employment flash estimates was tested by dedicated working groups and revisions of subsequent estimates are continuously monitored. Further information can be found on Eurostat website.
With these flash estimates, euro area and EU employment and GDP figures for earlier quarters are not revised.
A preliminary flash estimate of GDP growth was published in News Release 20/2019 issued on 31 January 2019. This was based on a more limited dataset than the one used for the present News Release and, additionally, on preliminary flash estimates which have now been revised by some Member States. The estimates for the last quarter were revised as presented in the following table:
|Growth rates||To the previous quarter (Q/Q-1)||To the previous year (Q/Q-4)|
|Zone||Euro area||EU28||Euro area||EU28||Euro area||EU28||Euro area||EU28|
All figures presented in this release may be revised with the t+65 regular estimate scheduled for 7 March 2019.
Issued by: Eurostat Press Office