Estonia's GDP drop among smallest in Europe in second quarter ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Estonia's gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 5.6 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, which is among the smallest declines in Europe, while seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 11.8 percent in the euro area and by 11.4 percent in the European Union.

Compared with the same quarter - April, May and June - of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 14.7 percent in the euro area and by 13.9 percent in the EU in the second quarter of 2020. Estonia's GDP decreased by 6.5 percent on year in the second quarter, according to Eurostat.

Among member states for which data are available for the second quarter of 2020, Spain recorded the sharpest decline of GDP compared to the previous quarter, -18.5 percent, followed by Croatia with -14.9 percent, Hungary with -14.5 percent, Greece with -14 percent, Portugal with -13.9 percent and France with -13.8 percent.

The lowest declines of GDP were observed in Finland, -4.5 percent, Lithuania, -5.5 percent, and Estonia, -5.6 percent, followed by Ireland with -6.1 percent, Latvia with -6.5 percent and Denmark with -6.9 percent. 

The number of employed persons decreased by 2.9 percent in the euro area and by 2.7 percent in the EU in the second quarter of 2020, compared with the previous quarter. These were the sharpest declines observed since the time series started in 1995. In Estonia, the number of employed persons declined by 5.1 percent in the same period, which was among the biggest declines. 

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment decreased by 3.1 percent in the euro area and by 2.9 percent in the EU in the second quarter of 2020, after +0.4 percent in both zones in the first quarter of 2020. These were also the sharpest declines observed since the time series started in 1995. In Estonia, the year-on-year decline was 3.6 percent in the second quarter.

In the second quarter of 2020, employment in persons decreased in all member states compared with the previous quarter, except in Malta, +0.6 percent. The largest decreases were recorded in Spain, -7.5 percent, Ireland, -6.1 percent, Hungary, -5.3 percent, and Estonia, -5.1 percent.

While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment in persons was still relatively moderate due to government support schemes, declines in hours worked were much more pronounced. Hours worked decreased by 12.8 percent in the euro area and by 10.7 percent in the EU in the second quarter of 2020, compared with the previous quarter. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year the declines were 16.6 percent in the euro area and 13.8 percent in the EU respectively. Both were by far the sharpest declines since the beginning of the time series.

Based on seasonally adjusted figures, Eurostat estimates that in the second quarter of 2020, 203.1 million people were employed in the EU, of which 155.6 million were in the euro area.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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