Eu­ro­zone Econ­omy Growth Hits High­est in Decade


BRUS­SELS (Dis­patches) - Growth in the eu­ro­zone shot up in 2017, putting Europe at the cen­ter of a global re­cov­ery and on par with lev­els of ex­pan­sion not seen since be­fore the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased on Tues­day.

Eco­nomic growth in the 19-coun­try eu­ro­zone hit 2.5 per­cent, far ahead of the 1.8 per­cent reached a year ear­lier, the EU’s of­fi­cial statis­tics agency said.

Europe’s eco­nomic re­cov­ery roared on de­spite the un­cer­tainty around Brexit, with the EU economies lifted by a resur­gent France and Spain.

The level, which was also matched by the 28-mem­ber EU as a whole, was the high­est since 2007 when the eu­ro­zone econ­omy hit 3.0 per­cent be­fore the fi­nan­cial cri­sis im­plo­sion.

Growth in the euro area reached 0.6 per­cent in the fourth quar­ter, Euro­stat said, on par with a fore­cast by an­a­lysts sur­veyed by Fact­set.

In the Euro­pean Union as a whole, growth also in­creased by 2.5 per­cent in 2017 and by 0.6 per­cent in the fourth quar­ter.

The data lands af­ter the IMF last week said that the global econ­omy is ex­pected to ex­pand at 3.9 per­cent this year and next, with ad­vanced economies log­ging in solid and si­mul­ta­ne­ous growth, a con­ver­gence not seen since the cri­sis.

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