Euro-Area Economy, Employment Rose by Record Before New Lockdown

The euro-area economy surged by a record in the third quarter and employment jumped, a rebound from recession that’ been cut short by new virus restrictions.

Output rose 12.6% in the period, according to data published Friday, little changed from an initial estimate. It shrank about 15% in the first half of the year during the first wave of lockdowns to contain the pandemic. Separate figures showed employment rose 0.9% following a plunge of nearly 3% in the previous three months.

The recovery has been derailed by another round of government closures of businesses after Covid-19 cases rose again. The euro-area economy could shrink this quarter, and concern about the outlook means the European Central Bank is once again preparing to increase stimulus for the economy.

There was some good news on the health front this week with the announcement of a vaccine breakthrough. The results are only one step in a long road, however, and ECB President Christine Lagarde said she wasn’t going to get “exuberant” just yet.

Separate figures Friday showed the Dutch economy grew 7.7% in the third quarter. That leaves it less than 3% smaller than before the crisis, better than Germany, France and Italy.

Read More:
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— With assistance by Kristian Siedenburg, and Harumi Ichikura

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