Eurostat data revealed that the contraction in the second quarter – combined with a smaller drop in the first three months of the year – wiped out a decade and a half of expansion, pushing the euro area economy down to its mid-2000s level. Italy – which has struggled to grow since the adoption of the single currency – has seen its GDP return to mid-1990s levels.
In Spain, where concerns about a second wave are most acute, the largest drop in output was recorded in the second quarter, with a GDP drop of 18.5%. The fall, unmatched even during its 1930s civil war, followed a 5.2% contraction in the first quarter and means the euro area’s fourth-largest economy contracted by almost a quarter in the first half of the year. 2020.