RTTNews - Friday, Eurostat is expected to bring an exceptionally bleak first quarter performance report of the 16-nation economy. Major economies of the currency bloc, Germany, France and Italy are also anticipated to show a worse performance in the first three months of the year, compared to the final quarter of 2008.

At 2.00am ET, a preliminary estimate for the first quarter German GDP is due at 2.00am ET. The largest Eurozone economy is expected to shrink 3% sequentially in the first quarter, following a 2.1% decline in the fourth quarter. The Federal Statistical Office is also expected release a report on employment in the manufacturing sector in the month of March.

From Finland, turnover data of industrial, construction, and service sectors are due at 2.00am ET along with the trend indicator of output for March.

At the same time, Estonia's balance payments for the month of March and first quarter labor market data are also expected.

Thereafter, the French quarterly national accounts is due at 2.45am ET. After falling 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2008, the economy is forecast to fall 1.3% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of this year. In the meantime, French wages and non-farm payrolls reports are also expected.

Hungary's statistical office is slated to unveil a preliminary report on first quarter GDP at 3.00am ET.

There is another GDP report at 3.00am ET from the Czech statistical office along with PPI data for April and export and import price report for March.

At 3.15am ET, Switzerland's Federal Statistical Office is scheduled to issue retail sales data. Retail sales had dropped by a real 3.8% in March.

Fifteen minutes later, Dutch GDP is due, which is forecast to fall 1.5% quarter-on-quarter, probably taking the annual decline to 3.1%. The Central Bureau of Statistics would also release retail trade figures for March.

At 4.0am ET, Italian statistical office would be releasing GDP figures for the first quarter, which according to analysts would fall 5.2% year-on-year and 2.3% over the previous quarter.

Thereafter, the Eurostat is slated to release consumer prices and quarterly national accounts at 5.00am ET. Consumer price annual inflation is expected to match the flash estimate of 0.6% in April. Meanwhile, the decline in the fourth quarter GDP is seen at 2%. On a yearly basis, the EU 16 bloc is forecast to contract 4.1% in the first quarter.

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