Luxembourg (dpa) - In the euro zone, economic performance in the second quarter suffered the worst slump in 25 years due to the Corona crisis.

From April to June, gross domestic product (GDP) in the common currency area shrank by 12.1 percent in a quarterly comparison, the statistics agency Eurostat said on Friday after an initial estimate. This is the strongest minus since the 1995 survey began.

The slump followed an already significant decline in economic output in the first quarter. From January to March, GDP in the currency area shrank by 3.6 percent. The economy has been suffering from measures to contain the corona pandemic since March. After the crisis peaked in April, the eurozone countries began easing their corona measures in May.

Spain reports the strongest economic downturn in Europe to date. In the second quarter, Spanish economic output shrank by 18.5 percent quarter on quarter. It is the worst slump that has hit Spain so far. The tourism industry in particular, which plays an important role in the Spanish economy, is suffering from the consequences of the Corona pandemic.

The setbacks in France and Italy were not as strong as feared by analysts. In addition to Spain, the two countries are among the member states of the euro zone that have been hit hardest by the Corona crisis. In France, the second largest economy in the euro zone, the economy shrank drastically by 13.8 percent from April to June. However, experts had expected an even greater drop of 15.2 percent.

There was also a violent economic downturn in Italy, which was also not as bad as feared. In the second quarter, the gross domestic product shrank by 12.4 percent in a quarterly comparison, and thus more than ever since the beginning of this survey in 1995.

An economic downturn had already been reported in Germany on Thursday. Gross domestic product in the largest European economy shrank by 10.1 percent in the second quarter. It was the sharpest drop since quarterly GDP calculations began in 1970.

The national governments and the European Central Bank (ECB) are currently combating the economic consequences of the corona crisis with extensive aid packages. The EU also decided on a comprehensive package of measures. Recent sentiment indicators indicate that the economy bottomed out in the second quarter and that an economic recovery is expected from the third quarter.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200731-99-993863 / 3