No recession, no growth either
The CEPR-EABCN Euro Area Business Cycle Dating Committee deliberated on 28 October 2023 to assess the state of euro area economic activity, relying on data through the second quarter of 2023—although preliminary data for the third quarter are consistent with the Committee’s findings. GDP in the second quarter of 2023 was a shade above that of the previous quarter which, in turn, was a whisper above the quarter before that.
Thus, despite a number of adverse shocks, the euro area has not experienced a decline in aggregate economic activity through the middle of 2023, let alone the type of significant decline that would qualify as a recession. Still, the overall pattern in recent quarters has been stagnant, with little movement across sectors or components of domestic final expenditure.
Although euro area output has been flat, employment has continued to grow, although at a slightly slower pace. The unemployment rate has edged down further and stands, yet again, at historically low levels since before the formation of the single currency area. Continued employment growth with stagnating output implies that productivity has continued to fall in recent quarters.
The full statement of the CEPR-EABCN Euro Area Business Cycle Dating Committee is available here.
About the Euro Area Business Cycle Dating Committee
The CEPR-EABCN Euro Area Business Cycle Dating Committee establishes the chronology of recessions and expansions of the eleven original euro area member countries plus Greece for 1970-1998, and of the entire euro area from 1999 onwards.
It also comments, in the spring and in the fall, on the current state of aggregate economic activity in the euro area and launches research initiatives designed to better monitor and understand aggregate economic developments in the euro area.
Dating activities and bi-annual statements on the state of euro area economic activity are conducted in total independence of EABCN. Research initiatives launched and pursued by the Committee are subject to the approval and evaluation of the EABCN Scientific Committee.