OECD GDP still below pre-pandemic levels, despite accelerating GDP growth of 1.6 % in the second quarter of 2021

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the OECD area still remains below pre-pandemic levels, despite increasing growth in the second quarter of 2021, by 1.6 % from 0.6 % in the previous quarter, according to provisional estimates.

For the Major Seven economies as a whole, GDP growth increased to 1.6 % (from 0.4 %) in the second quarter of 2021, but with strong variations across countries.

The United Kingdom recorded the strongest growth (4.8 % from minus 1.6 % in the previous quarter), followed by Italy (2.7 % from 0.2 % in the previous quarter). GDP also increased in the other Major Seven Economies, but to a lesser extent. In both the United States and Germany, GDP grew by 1.6 %, compared with 1.5 % and minus 2.0 % respectively in the previous quarter. In France and Japan GDP grew by 0.9 % and 0.3 % respectively, after 0.0 %, and minus 0.9 % in the previous quarter. Canada recorded a growth rate of 0.6 %, but as this was down from 1.4 % in the previous quarter, it was the only Major Seven economy that recorded a decelerating growth rate in the second quarter.

In the Euro Area and the European Union GDP growth turned positive in the second quarter of 2021, to 2.0 % and 1.9 % respectively, after declines by (minus) 0.3 % and (minus) 0.1 % in the previous quarter.

When comparing economic activity in the second quarter of 2021 with pre-pandemic levels (Q4-2019), GDP still lags behind for the OECD area as a whole (minus 0.7 %). Among the Major Seven economies, the United Kingdom experienced the largest gap (minus 4.4 %), followed by Italy (minus 3.8 %), France and Germany (both at minus 3.3 %). The United States is the only Major Seven Economy that already returned to pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of 2021, with GDP exceeding the pre-pandemic level by 0.8 %.

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