EcoTVW

Eurozone real GDP growth in the final quarter of 2020 surprised favourably, which means that the contraction was smaller than anticipated. The current quarter should again see negative growth but attention is quickly shifting to the second quarter. Given the pace of vaccination, the level of new infections in many countries and the concern about the new variants, there is a risk that restrictions may need to stay in place for longer. This would mean a delay in the recovery, with a sizeable growth acceleration occurring as of the third quarter rather than in spring. This implies that pent-up demand in the second half could be even bigger. However, in the sectors impacted by the restrictions, the difficult times would last for longer and could lead to bigger scarring effects. Finally, an international comparison of the recovery speeds could influence capital flows and the euro, considering that the eurozone is lagging.