Eu­ro­zone growth ex­ceeds ex­pec­ta­tions

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

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 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.

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.

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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