Published: Wed, January 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

GDP up by 0.6% in both the euro area and the EU28

GDP up by 0.6% in both the euro area and the EU28

The economy of the 19-nation bloc grew by 2.5% past year, according to Eurostat, the strongest growth since the 3% rate seen in 2007.

The European Central Bank has been carrying out a huge stimulus programme in an attempt to drive eurozone growth.

Eurozone unemployment rate remained stable at 8.7 percent in December previous year, still the lowest since January 2009, the statistics agency of the European Union (EU) Eurostat said on Wednesday.

Despite uncertainty surrounding the impact of the ongoing Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom, said Balraj Sroya of Foenix Partners, the strong GDP and other economic indicators show the eurozone has put the recession and Greek debt crisis behind it "and is looking stronger and more stable than ever". The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece and Spain.

While there was no detail in the Eurostat release, France also released GDP growth numbers earlier on Tuesday that showed 0.6% growth.

Analysts expected the eurozone's unemployment rate to fall over the next few years.

However, the divergence in the year-on-year growth rates is stark, with the eurozone GDP up by 2.7 per cent in the fourth quarter and the United Kingdom showing growth of just 1.5 per cent by this measure.

While energy prices were the fastest-growing of the main components of the main index of consumer prices, the pace of price rises fell from 2.9 per cent annually in December to 2.1 per cent in January.

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