RTTNews - Friday, the flash estimates published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities said the euro area GDP declined 2.5% sequentially in the first quarter of 2009 compared to a 1.6% decline in the fourth quarter. Economists were looking for a 2% fall in the first quarter.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP contracted 4.6%, much larger than the 1.4% decrease seen in the last quarter of 2008. The decline was severe than the expected 4.1%.

The EU 27 shrank 2.5% quarter-on-quarter, taking the annual contraction to 4.4% in the first quarter of 2009.

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