The European economy slid at the end of 2020 because of new lockdowns.
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The European economy slid at the end of 2020 because of new lockdowns.

The eurozone economy shrunk in the last three months of 2020 as European countries closed shops and restaurants and restricted travel to try to stop the coronovirus.

Eurozone-related economic output in 19 countries fell 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous quarter, according to A. Initial estimate The official statistics agency of the European Union said.

For the full year, total production fell by 5.1 percent.

Economists expect the economy to shrink again in the first quarter of 2021, leading to a double recession. The block’s economy also shrunk during the first half of 2020.

The decline marked a roller coaster year for the eurozone economy. In the second quarter, GDP fell by 11.7 percent when the epidemic gained momentum, then fell 12.4 percent in the third quarter as the lockdown eased and companies adjusted to the crisis.

The latest figures reflect the uneasiness that has gripped European leaders as they struggle to vaccinate their citizens, a project that has moved more slowly on the continent than Britain or the United States.

“The short-term prospects for the European economy are less than challenging health conditions and the onset of vaccination rollouts in many countries,” said Nicola Knoll, head of Oxford Economics, Eurozone Economics.

European factories have largely adapted to the epidemic and are functioning almost normally, but shops, restaurants and hotels are suffering losses. According to the Ifu Institute in Munich, a research organization, more than half of Germans, who work in hotels or restaurants, have about 600,000 people on government-funded furloughs and are effectively unemployed.

Growth figures are not yet available for all Eurozone members, but of the countries reported so far, Austria, Italy and France suffered a decline in production in the quarter, while Germany, Spain and other countries reported a slight Managed the increase.

In countries such as Poland, Hungary and Sweden, which are members of the European Union but not of the eurozone, production in the block fell 0.5 percent in the October – December period.



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