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Financial News: Eurozone Economy Grows Faster Than Estimated Earlier

Eurozone Economy Grows Faster Than Estimated Earlier

06/08/2017 - 07:19:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone's economy expanded more-than-initially estimated in the first quarter on domestic spending.

Gross domestic product climbed 0.6 percent sequentially, faster than the 0.5 percent growth estimated previously, latest data from Eurostat showed Thursday. The economy grew 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.

On a yearly basis, GDP growth was raised to 1.9 percent from 1.7 percent. In the fourth quarter, the economy had expanded 1.8 percent.

With activity surveys pointing to a pick-up in GDP growth in the second quarter, the euro-zone economy is set for a strong 2017, Jessica Hinds, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

The European Central Bank is set to retain its key interest rates and massive monetary stimulus in its policy session in Estonia on Thursday. Policymakers are forecast to keep all its three interest rates unchanged for a tenth consecutive policy session.

Economists widely expect an upgrade to the growth outlook, while they foresee a downgrade to the inflation projections.

In March, the growth projections for this year and next were raised by a percentage point to 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Growth was seen slowing to 1.6 percent in 2019.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on Wednesday raised Eurozone's growth projections for both this year and next to 1.8 percent from 1.6 percent seen in March. Recovery would be led by domestic demand, the agency said.

The expenditure-side breakdown of GDP showed that household spending climbed 0.3 percent from prior three months, slower than the 0.4 percent increase seen a quarter ago. Meanwhile, the increase in government spending rose to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent.

Gross fixed capital formation rose at a weaker pace of 1.3 percent following a 3.4 percent rise in the fourth quarter.

Exports climbed 1.2 percent versus 1.7 percent increase in the fourth quarter. At the same time, imports grew 1.3 percent compared to 3.8 percent rise in the previous quarter.

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