8 June 2001, 14:18  Euro zone Q1 GDP up 0.5 pct vs Q4, up 2.5 pct yr-on-yr

BRUSSELS (AFX) - First quarter euro zone GDP rose 0.5 pct quarter-on-quarter, and 2.5 pct year-on-year, according to the first estimates of the EU statistics office Eurostat.
The figures follow a quarter-on-quarter rise of 0.6 pct in the fourth quarter of 2000, and a yearly rise of 2.9 pct, revised from the previous respective estimates of 0.7 pct and 3.0 pct.
The EU 15's first quarter GDP growth was also estimated at 0.5 pct from the previous quarter, and 2.5 pct year-on-year, it said.
In the fourth quarter of 2000, EU 15 GDP growth was revised to a 0.6 pct quarter-on-quarter rise and a 2.9 pct yearly rise, compared with previous estimates of 0.7 pct and 2.9 pct.
Euro zone exports showed a "significant deceleration", growing 0.1 pct quarter-on-quarter compared with 3.0 pct in the fourth quarter, while imports dropped by 1.5 pct against a 2.7 pct growth in the fourth quarter.
First quarter investment fell 0.9 pct after a fourth quarter rise of 0.3 pct, while household spending rose 0.3 pct, compared with 0.2 pct in the previous quarter.
EU 15 exports rose 0.2 pct compared with 2.7 pct growth the previous quarter, while imports dropped 0.9 pct against a 2.4 pct in the fourth quarter.
Investment growth in the first quarter fell 0.7 pct from growth of 0.5 pct a quarter earlier, while household spending rose 0.4 pct from 0.3 pct in the fourth quarter.
First quarter total gross value added was stable at 0.7 pct both in the euro zone and the EU 15, with a yearly growth of 2.8 pct for the euro zone and 2.9 pct for the EU 15.
Industry recorded the highest quarter-on-quarter growth, with a 1.5 pct rise in the euro zone and 1.3 pct in the EU 15.
Euro zone trade, transport and communications rose 0.9 pct, financial and business services gained 0.7 pct, and construction fell 1.3 pct. In the EU 15 transport and communications put on 0.8 pct, financial and business services rose 0.9 pct, while construction dropped 1.5 pct. Eurostat noted that euro zone and EU growth in the first quarter was above that of the US, which recorded quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.3 pct.

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