Eurozone growth exceeds expectations

Reuters

The euro zone, the economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to September, above analysts ‘ expectations, according to the statistical office of the european UNION Eurostat.

For the last 12 months, the rate of growth has been 2.5%, Eurostat said.

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

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

Analysis: Andrew Walker, economics correspondent

The overall message of these figures reinforces the image of a euro area economy that is finally gaining a little strength. That is a pretty good turnover growth and a gradual decrease in unemployment continues.

That said, the unemployment rate remains high, painfully in some countries. And inflation remains too low, at least from the point of view of the European Central Bank.

The problem (or one of them) with a very low inflation, it is that it is more difficult for a central bank to respond effectively if there is a slowdown in economic activity.

Thus, while the ECB will welcome the growth of the image, it will continue its efforts (ultra-low interest rates and “quantitative easing”) to get a price increase a little more quickly for some time to come.

The agency believes that the inflation in the euro zone fell 1.4% in October, down 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 that it increased by 0.5% in the three months to September.

French statistics agency INSEE said the rise in the euro area, the second-largest economy is explained by higher household consumption and rising investment.

INSEE said that consumer spending in the country increased 0.5% in the third quarter, after an increase of 0.3% in the previous quarter. Investment grew by 0.8%, after an increase of 1% in the second quarter.

France recorded a growth of 0.6% in the second quarter and 0.5% in the first quarter. He expects 1.8% growth this year.

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

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