Extracts from the press briefing by Amelia Torres, spokesperson of Joaquín Almunia, on flash estimates of GDP published by Eurostat
GDP declined by 1.5% in both the euro area (EA15) and the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union.
Amelia Torres, spokesperson of Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, explained that the figures were not a surprise, given the global economic and financial crisis and following the Commission's own forecast. She added that the European Union expected a recovery by the second half of 2009. SHOTLIST