EU’s GDP up by 5.4 % in 2021 but still below 2019 level

In 2021, the real gross domestic product (GDP) showed a strong economic rebound and increased by 5.4 %, even if economic activities were still affected by the containment measures. Nevertheless, GDP remains 0.8 % below the 2019 pre-COVID level, as the economic fallout due to COVID-19 resulted in a 5.9 % decrease in 2020.

Looking at the development of the EU’s GDP components from the expenditure side, it is observed that the 2021 final consumption expenditure and gross capital formation are still lower than their 2019 level expressed in volume terms, while exports and imports have recovered.

Despite the 3.9 % increase in 2021, the level of final consumption expenditure in volume terms was still lower than that of 2019. The final consumption expenditure of the general government was the only expenditure item to record an increase (0.9 %) during 2020, the year when the COVID-19 crisis started, and it further increased by 3.8 % in 2021. Gross capital formation fell by 8.1 % in 2020, while it recovered partially (6.7 %) in 2021.

In 2020, the value of exports fell 8.6 % compared with 2019, while imports fell 8.3 %. In 2021, the value of exports rebounded by 10.7 %, while imports grew by 9.3 %.

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