The UK economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015. The annual rate of growth slowed from 2.8% to 2.4%. The UK economy is now 4% above its pre-crisis peak.
The Eurozone recorded strong economic growth in the first quarter and managed to grow by 0.4%, the fastest quarterly growth for almost two years. For the first time since the first quarter of 2011, the Eurozone economy grew at a faster rate than both the US and UK economies. The Eurozone was boosted by a strong French economy, which recorded growth of 0.6%. The French economy was boosted by a weaker euro and lower oil prices. The Italian economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter, higher than analysts had forecasted. The German economy recorded disappointing growth. The disappointing quarterly results of Germany were largely due to a fall in exports. Spain recorded its fastest rate of expansion since 2007 with quarterly growth of 0.9%. Greece fell back into recession.
The US economy struggled in the first quarter and recorded sluggish annual growth of 0.2% in the first quarter. This was much lower than analysts had been predicting and much lower than the 2.2% annual growth recorded in the final quarter of 2014. There were several factors which contributed to the mediocre growth, including severe winter weather, the strengthening of the dollar together with West Coast port strikes and lower oil prices.
The Chinese economy recorded its slowest quarterly growth in six years during the first three months of 2015. In terms of quarterly growth, the economy expanded by 1.3%. The poor growth was largely due to an industrial slowdown and a weak housing market.
This report contains quarterly statistics data for markets around the world.