France is the only country to register a positive growth with a rise of 0.1% compared with the previous quarter. However, in Germany, Japan and Italy GDP contracted over the last two quarters. This was also the case for the euro area, where growth fell by 0.2% for the second and third quarters of 2008. In the US, where the largest fall was recorded, growth slid from 0.7% to 0.1% between the second and third quarters.
Growth rates in the third quarter of 2008 were almost all lower than in 2001. Also, US growth has fallen by nearly two percentage points since the third quarter of 2003, the year when growth was at its peak of the last seven years. For France, the rate slid from 0.7% over that period, in Germany, there was a slide of a percentage point from 0.5 to -0.5%, while the UK saw a slightly steeper drop from 0.8% to -0.5%.©OECD Observer No 270/271 December 2008-January 2009