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General economic indicators

General economic indicators


Real gross domestic product

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures an economy’s economic performance. According to the production approach, GDP essentially equals the value of the goods and services produced in the production process, less the value of intermediate goods. A harmonised calculation according to the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) is carried out for all EU member states. Price-adjusted data are measured in terms of average prices for the preceding year and are shown as Laspeyres-type chain indices, with the reference year 2010=100. The percentage changes in the real GDP calculated in this manner serve as key indicators of economic growth in the euro area.

Industrial output

The production index measures the change in the volume of monthly output of manufacturing, mining and energy compared with the base year 2015. Owing to its frequency, its ready availability and the detailed breakdown by economic sector, it is a pivotal and up-to-date indicator of economic development.

The latest monthly production indices are provisional and still contain estimates.

Capacity utilisation in industry

The data on capacity utilisation (as a percentage of full capacity) of industry in the euro area are collected on a quarterly basis by the European Commission, Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, as part of the harmonised economic surveys in the European Union. National bodies/institutions carry out these surveys on behalf of the European Commission in all member states at various enterprises, the number of which is specific to the country. The survey results are weighted and summarised.

Unemployment rate

The standardised unemployment rate is the percentage share of unemployed persons among the civilian labour force (including military personnel living off-base). According to the criteria of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), persons between 15 and 74 years are counted as unemployed if they are without work, could start working within the next two weeks and have actively been looking for work in the previous four weeks. Civilian employed and unemployed persons are counted as the civilian labour force. The primary basis for the estimate of the monthly number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate are the figures taken from the quarterly labour force survey of the Community, an EU-wide standard household survey.

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

Consumer price indices measure the average price change of all goods and services that are bought by households for consumption purposes. The Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP) are calculated monthly for each EU member state according to joint European guidelines. They are Laspeyres-type chain indices, which are calculated using weights that change annually and with the reference year 2015=100. The results from the euro-area countries are incorporated into the euro area’s HICP published by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office. The year-on-year percentage change in the euro area’s HICP is the statistical base used to assess price stability in the euro area.

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