As a number of countries in Europe wade through yet another recession it is remarkable that, for many nations, the size of the economy is still smaller than it was prior to the Great Recession that began in 2008.
The chart below compares the size of each nation’s economy relative to the size it was during the first quarter of 2008. For example, at the end of last year Poland’s economy was 113.7% the size it was during the first quarter of 2008. Portugal’s economy, however was only 91.8% the size it was at the end of 2012.
The first chart includes all Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development,(OECD) members located in Europe except Greece. It also contains the United States for comparison purposes.
At the conclusion of 2012, 15 of the 22 European nation economies listed below were still smaller than they were five years ago. Another three were hardly larger; Austria, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.
The struggle for for many European nations to rebound since 2008 is in direct contrast to how quickly many grew during the decade prior to the 2008-2009 recession. The most extreme example of growth is Ireland. The Irish economy doubled in size from the beginning of 1997 to early 2008. Economic growth in Iceland, Spain, the United Kingdom was also quite strong and up until 2008 growth in France, Portugal, Germany and Italy was steady.
Data Source: Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development
GDP data is seasonally adjusted and in fixed PPPs