Euro zone Q4 GDP falls less than expected

2020 was a roller coaster for global economies.

But for the euro zone at least, the drop in the final quarter appears to have been less steep than expected.

Gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell by 0.7% quarter-on-quarter according to new statistics Tuesday.

Year-on-year the decline was just over 5%.

Initial estimates also indicate the region is heading for another, probably steeper decline, in the first quarter of this year.

But one economist told Reuters that the slump will not be as sharp as that seen in the first half of 2020.

Adding that "a noticeable recovery is likely to set in again from the spring".

The latest figures showed the second and third largest euro zone economies, France and Italy, pulled down the overall result.

They posted quarterly GDP declines of 1.3% and 2% respectively.

Meanwhile Germany inched up 0.1% from the third quarter and Spain grew 0.4%.

Economists said the fourth quarter slump was milder than in the first half of the year because restrictive measures had been adapted and were less severe.