The first fact to be explained about the economy between 1974 and 1993 is the worsening performance of most sectors for much or all of the period. From 1973 to 1979, annual growth rates of GDP were, at 3.6 per cent, lower than before 1973, but still above the average for western Europe, which was suffering from the aftermath of the international recession of 1974. But from the second recession in the western world in 1980-82 until the end of the third in 1993, the average rate of growth was among the lowest in capitalist Europe: only 1.3 per cent, and 0.5 per cent in 1990-93.