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Eurozone growth exceeds expectations

Added on 02 November 2017 - 3:23 'Viewed 32 views times.
European Central Bank office in FrankfurtImage copyright Reuters

The eurozone’s economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to September, above analysts’ expectations, according to EU statistics office Eurostat.

For the past 12 months, the growth rate was 2.5%, Eurostat said.

Last month, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised its 2017 growth forecast for the 19-nation eurozone to 2.2%, the fastest in 10 years.

Eurostat also said eurozone unemployment was 8.9% in September, the lowest rate for nearly nine years.

Analysis: Andrew Walker, economics correspondent

The agency estimated that inflation in the eurozone had fallen to 1.4% in October, down from 1.5% in September.

That puts it well below the 2% inflation target set by the European Central Bank.

France sees boost

Separate figures for the French economy show it grew 0.5% in the three months to September.

French statistics agency INSEE said the rise in the eurozone’s second-biggest economy was driven by higher household consumption and rising investment.

INSEE said consumer spending in the country increased by 0.5% in the third quarter, after a 0.3% rise in the previous quarter. Investment went up by 0.8%, after a 1% increase in the second quarter.

France saw growth of 0.6% in the second quarter and 0.5% in the first quarter. It expects 1.8% growth this year.

Meanwhile, figures issued by the Greek statistics service Elstat showed that Greece’s economy returned to growth in the first three months of 2017.

GDP increased by 0.4% in the period compared with the final quarter of 2016, when it contracted by 1.1%.

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