According to the published GDP growth figures for 2022, three European economies are weathering the current turmoil in very different ways.
The Eurozone has recorded an overall inflation rate of 8.1 per cent for the first quarter of 2022, the highest figure since records began in 1997.
For the first quarter of 2022, France, Italy, and Switzerland experienced negative, neutral, and positive economic growth respectively in that time.
The French economy contracted 0.2 per cent in the first four months of the year, according to the country’s own National Institute of Statistics.
While, Italy recorded a 0.1 per cent increase in GDP between January and April 2022, after initial data showed a decline of 0.2 per cent.
Switzerland’s economy grew by 0.5 per cent compared to the previous quarter, due to a strong industrial recovery and surging demand for its exports,
The ideal growth rate in an advanced economy is considered to be two to three per cent per year.
However, with the onset of war in Ukraine, the economies across Europe are being battered by the cost of living challenges, the effects of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and ensuing sanctions, and the enduring impact of COVID-19.
France’s slowing economy was caused by a pronounced fall in household consumption, the traditional engine of the country’s growth, of some 1.5 percent. Less consumption during high inflation, the rate of inflation registered at 4.5 percent in the same period.
“We know prices are being pulled up both by the situation in the energy market, and also by the situation in the food market,” France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned on Monday.
“We are going to enter a new period where inflation will no longer be as low as it has been in past years,” he added.
Solid domestic demand and recent investments have contributed to economic growth in Italy, which have compensated for declines in exports, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics said.
On the contrary, the Swiss economy was said to have accelerated due to increased global demand for machinery, metals, precision instruments, watches, and jewelry.