The euro zone economy contracted more than previously estimated in the last three months of 2020 compared to the previous quarter, revised data showed today.

This was as a result of household consumption plunging because of Covid-19 lockdowns. 

The European Union's statistics office said gross domestic product in the euro zone fell by 0.7% on a quarterly basis, more than the initial 0.6% estimate, for a 4.9% annual drop, less the previous estimate of 5%. 

The main downward pull came from household consumption which subtracted 1.6 percentage points quarter-on-quarter from the final quarterly result and 4.1 points from the annual number. 

Growing inventories added 0.6 points to the final quarterly figure, government spending another 0.1 points and investment 0.3 points, but trade gave a negative contribution of 0.1 points. 

Pandemic lockdowns, which have closed economies to various degrees across the single currency bloc since October, also hit jobs.

Employment growth slowed to 0.3% quarter-on-quarter from 1% growth in the previous three months. 

In the last three moths of 2020, 157.9 million people were employed in the euro zone, Eurostat estimated, 3.1 million fewer than in the same period of 2019.

Counted in terms of hours worked, employment contracted 1.6% in the fourth quarter against the previous three months after a 14.4% jump in the three months from July to September when European economies briefly re-opened after the first wave of the pandemic.