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Diverging growth trends in the UNECE region

Source: UNECE Statistical Database (www.unece.org/stats/data), Eurostat, CISSTAT and national statistics

In 2015, in the United States gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 2.4 per cent compared to the previous year – the same growth rate as in 2014. In the European Union (EU), GDP growth accelerated in 2015 reaching 1.9 per cent, up from 1.4 per cent. This was a third year of growth in the EU after the slight decline in 2012.

Countries belonging to the Euro zone saw their GDP go up somewhat less than the EU as a whole, although the difference in growth rates narrowed significantly. GDP increased for a second year in a row after shrinking in 2012-2013.

In the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), on the other hand, a protracted slowdown was followed by an outright contraction of economic activity   in 2015, for the first time since 2009, with GDP falling by 2.9 per cent.

In the United States, steady GDP growth has continued since 2010. In the EU, some countries are still struggling, and as many as ten countries have not yet reached the level of GDP they had in 2008. However, GDP grew in 2015 in all EU countries except Greece, where the economy decreased marginally. Growth was highest in Ireland and Malta at a 7.8 and 6.3 per cent rate compared to the previous year. At the other end, Austria, Italy and Finland recorded less than one per cent growth in 2015.

In the CIS-region, GDP diminished in four Eastern European countries: Belarus, Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine. While GDP grew in all CIS countries of Caucasus and Central Asia, the regional rate was negative because of the setbacks in the biggest economies of Eastern Europe. Strongest growth was reported for Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.