Eurozone growth eases modestly in Q2 as France falters
BRUSSELS: Economic growth in the 19-country eurozone eased slightly in the second quarter of the year, official figures showed Friday, as a sharp slowdown in France offset a solid export-reliant performance by Germany.
Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, said quarterly economic growth across the region was 0.3 percent, down slightly from the 0.4 percent recorded in the first three months of the year. The decline was widely anticipated across financial markets. The figures highlighted a growing divergence between the region's two biggest economies. While the biggest, Germany saw growth rise to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent in the quarter before, France saw no growth at all following a strong 0.7 percent rise in the first three months of the year.
The German figures weren't wholly positive as the increase in growth was largely due to solid exports as the falling euro helped companies in international markets. Over the past year or so, the euro has fallen to multiyear lows against the dollar. Despite a recent appreciation to around $1.11, the euro is still trading at relatively low levels, and that should continue to help exporters, particularly in Germany. While Germany managed to eke out some more growth in the second quarter, the French economy stagnated as investment eased and consumer spending was lackluster.