Euro-Area Firms Cut Jobs With Economy in Double-Dip Recession
Euro-area businesses shed jobs at the start of the year after strict lockdowns pushed the economy into a double-dip recession.
Employment in the 19-nation region fell by 0.3% in the first quarter after two consecutive gains. The economy shrank 0.6% in the same period, matching an initial estimate.
Since then, the outlook for the euro zone has improved. Coronavirus infections are tumbling as vaccinations pick up, and governments have started to ease curbs. Shops and restaurants are gradually opening up in Germany, and countries from Greece to Portugal have launched their summer travel season.
The European Commission recently upgraded its economic outlook after taking account of the region’s 800 billion-euro ($977 billion) joint fiscal stimulus plan for the first time, predicting euro-area growth of 4.3% this year and 4.4% in 2022. The recovery will still be uneven though, with France, Spain and Italy not reaching their pre-pandemic output levels until next year.
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