Eurozone growth exceeds expectations
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%.