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The euro area returned to growth in 2014

Source: UNECE Statistical Database (www.unece.org/stats/data), Eurostat, CISSTAT and national statistics. Data for 2014 in the EU are based on quarterly statistics and do not include the fourth quarter for Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Sweden yet. Data for 2014 in the aggregate for CIS region do not include the fourth quarter for Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine.

Many UNECE member countries have just published their preliminary estimates for the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014. According to these, GDP increased by 2.4 per cent compared to the previous year in the United States. GDP also grew by 1.4 per cent in the European Union. Countries of the euro area saw their GDP going upward for the first time since 2011, with a growth close to 1 per cent. On the other hand, in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) GDP growth slowed down to 1 per cent.

In the United States, GDP has increased at close to 2.5 per cent annual rates since 2010, the only exception being the 1.6 per cent growth rate in 2011. In Europe, some countries are still struggling to recover and, in as many as 16 EU countries GDP has not yet reached its level of 2008. Poland is the only EU country with a growing GDP throughout the period 2008-2014. While the Baltic countries experienced the sharpest decrease in 2008, they have been among the fastest growing EU countries since 2011.

In 2014, within the EU GDP grew fastest in Hungary and Poland with a 3.4 per cent rate from the previous year. At the other end, GDP diminished by 2.4 per cent in Cyprus, while Austria, Finland, France and Italy recorded roughly zero growth in 2014.

Quite a few CIS countries, especially in Central Asia, experienced strong growth in 2014: Turkmenistan 10.3 per cent, Uzbekistan 8.1 and Tajikistan 6.7. Yet, the pace of growth in the region slowed down to 1 per cent because of some of the biggest economies.