Eurozone economic growth was lower than expected in the first three months of the year, preliminary data showed on Friday, as the war in Ukraine, which began on February 24, impacted activity in the region.
The European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat, said the gross domestic product of the 19 countries sharing the euro grew by 0.2% from the previous quarter, up 5.0% year-on-year. Economists polled by Reuters had expected quarterly growth of 0.3%.
The European Commission had also predicted just before the Russian invasion that growth would be 0.3% compared to the previous quarter, so preliminary Eurostat data, if confirmed ahead, suggest that the war and price spikes in conflict-related commodities reduced growth by 0.1 percentage point.
Eurostat said Italy’s economy contracted 0.2% in the first quarter from the previous three months, which would make it the biggest victim of the eurozone conflict. In February, the Commission predicted that Italy would grow by 0.3%.
Germany, whose first-quarter growth had been projected at 0.4% by the Commission, grew by just 0.2%, Eurostat said. France, on the other hand, did not grow, compared to a forecast of expansion of 0.1%.