From the expenditure side, the largest positive contribution to the GDP growth came from household final consumption expenditure (0.3 percentage points), followed by gross fixed capital formation (0.2 percentage points), net exports (0.1 percentage points); while inventories subtracted 0.3 percentage points to the GDP.
Household consumption rose 0.5 percent in the first quarter (vs 0.3 percent in Q4) and fixed investment advanced 1.1 percent (vs 1.4 percent in Q4). In addition, government spending edged up 0.1 percent, following a 0.6 percent growth in the previous period. Exports increased 0.6 percent (vs 1.2 percent in Q4) while imports rose at a slower 0.4 percent (vs 1.2 percent in Q4).
From the production side, services activity was the main driver of growth led by trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities (0.7 percent vs 0.4 percent); information and communication (0.4 percent vs 0.6 percent); real estate activities (0.3 percent, the same as in Q4); professional and support service activities (0.5 percent vs 0.6 percent); administration and other public services (0.4 percent vs 0.3 percent); and arts, entertainment and other services (0.4 percent vs 0.2 percent). Financial and insurance activities, however, shrank 0.4 percent, reversing a 0.2 percent gain in Q4. Also, construction advanced 1.1 percent, the same as in Q4; and industry output edged up 0.1 percent (vs -0.5 percent in Q4), despite manufacturing production being unchanged (vs -0.3 percent in Q4).
Among the bloc's largest economies, Germany's GDP increased 0.4 percent in Q1, after being unchanged in the previous period, on the back of strong fixed capital formation and household consumption; while Italian economy advanced 0.1 percent, emerging from its third recession in a decade, due mainly to net exports. Also, Spain's economy grew 0.7 percent, faster than 0.6 percent in the previous three-month period, mainly boosted by a rebound in fixed investment; while France's GDP growth was unchanged at 0.3 percent on the back of firm household consumption.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the Euro Area economy expanded 1.2 percent in the three months to March, the same pace as in the previous period.
Considering the European Union as a whole, GDP growth picked up to 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter (vs 0.3 percent in Q4); and was unchanged at 1.5 percent year-on-year.