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Data for GDP growth in Q1 2021 has been released for some economies, (though not the UK). Eurozone GDP fell by 0.6% compared with the prior quarter (Q4 2020), as many countries were in lockdown. In comparison GDP grew by 1.6% in the US. UK figures are out 12 May.

Looking at comparable data from Q4 2020, UK GDP rose by 1.3%. It also increased by 1.1% in the US, but fell by 0.7% in the Eurozone. Compared with a year ago, GDP in Q4 2020 was 7.3% lower in the UK and down 4.9% in the Eurozone. In the US, GDP was 2.4% lower.

Quarterly GDP growth, Q4 2020

Please note that headline GDP growth figures across countries are not 100% comparable. For example, the UK takes a different approach than its peers in calculating output in the education and health sectors. This has resulted in the UK’s GDP growth figures during the Covid-19 outbreak to be lower compared with other G7 economies than they otherwise would have been (this effect will unwind during the recovery).

Forecasts

The IMF’s latest forecasts, published 6 April, were more upbeat for the global economy compared with its previous projections made in January. It forecast UK GDP growth of +5.3% in 2021, following -9.9% in 2020.

IMF forecasts of GDP growth in 2021 for G7 economies

The OECD’s latest forecasts, published 9 March, projected an improved world growth outlook compared with its December projections. It forecast UK GDP growth of +5.1% in 2021 following -9.9% in 2020.

OECD GDP growth forecasts 2021 for G7


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