Gross Domestic Product
The following section provides some information on the trends in economic growth from 1975 to 1993 and current estimates of the combined European economy. Central European countries are not included because of the current difficulties in obtaining accurate national accounts data from countries in transition to market economies. When these data become available, estimates of the total economic activity of the combined European countries will be considerably larger than those presented here. In 1993, the combined GDP of EU and EFTA countries was approximately $5.2 trillion in constant dollars, slightly higher than the GDP of the United States, which was $5.1 trillion. (See figure 14.) This represents a real growth rate in European GDP of about 2.3 percent annually from 1975 to 1993. (See appendix table 14.) This average annual rate of growth in European economies during the past 18 years, however, combines the rapid growth of their economies in the 1980s with the slow growth and high unemployment of the early 1990s. The number of patents granted in the United States to inventors from the European countries reflect this same pattern, with a high rate of growth in the 1980s followed by a decline from 1990 to 1993. (See appendix table 15.) Figure 15 shows the growth in GDP from 1975 to 1993 for selected countries in constant dollars. Five countries account for more than 78 percent of this total GDP: Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain.