Portuguese economy suffers 4th largest slump in the EU

  • ECO News
  • 8 September 2020

Data released by Eurostat places Portugal as the EU country with the fourth largest contraction of the economy during the second quarter, in year-on-year terms.

One month and a few days after the historical recession that the pandemic caused throughout the European Union was first released, Eurostat released on Tuesday the most complete data, including all member states (except Luxembourg). However, the introduction of more countries did not change the conclusion: Portugal registered the fourth largest GDP contraction, in year-on-year terms, in the second quarter, only behind Spain, Italy and France.

The Portuguese economy contracted 16.3% year-on-year in the second quarter, followed by a 17.7% drop in Italy, 18.9% in France and 22.1% in Spain. On the opposite side, the best performance was that of Ireland (-3.7%), Lithuania (-4%) and Finland (-6.3%).

In aggregate, GDP fell 13.9% (below the 14.7% of the last estimate) in the European Union and 14.7% (below the 15% of the last estimate) in the Euro Zone, in year-on-year terms, and 11.4% and 11.8%, quarter-on-quarter, respectively. However, in the data by country, there are significant differences in the performance of the economy in the second quarter, in a period marked by the containment measures related to the pandemic.

In the quarter-on-quarter comparison, i.e. in comparison with the previous quarter, Portugal appears with the fifth largest fall in GDP (-11.9%) in the European Union, only behind Spain (-18.5%), Croatia (-14.9%), Hungary (-14.5%) and Greece (-14%).

It should be noted that in Germany, the largest economy in the Euro Zone and in the European Union, the recession was 11.3% year-on-year and 9.7% quarter-on-quarter, less than previously estimated. In Sweden, one of the most controversial countries in the virus strategy, the GDP contracted 7.7% year-on-year and 8.3% quarter-on-quarter.

This analysis is made without the United Kingdom, which is in the transition period of leaving the European Union. The British economy contracted 21.7% year-on-year and 20.4% quarter-on-quarter, so it would be at the top of the EU’s biggest falls, right after Spain, if it were considered.