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Financial News: Eurozone GDP Expands Most In A Decade

Eurozone GDP Expands Most In A Decade

01/30/2018 - 07:37:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Eurozone economy grew at the fastest pace in a decade in 2017, outpacing many advanced economies.

Gross domestic product expanded 2.5 percent in 2017, which was the fastest since 2007, when it grew 3 percent, Eurostat reported Tuesday.

In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 0.6 percent sequentially, slightly slower than the 0.7 percent increase seen in the third quarter, preliminary flash estimate showed.

Year-on-year, economic growth eased marginally to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent in the preceding three months.

While detailed breakdowns have yet to be released, it seems that the Eurozone economy continues to fire on all cylinders, Bert Colijn, an ING Bank economist, said.

Investment has yet to fully recover from the crisis but has been an essential contributor to growth during the year, the economist added. However, the big question for 2018 is whether the stronger euro will offset the effects of improving external demand.

According to the Survey of Professional Forecasters, the euro area will expand 2.3 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2019.

The EU28 also grew 2.5 percent in 2017. At 2.2 percent, Germany's growth hit a six-year high in 2017 on domestic demand.

Similarly, France's GDP growth accelerated markedly by 1.9 percent, the strongest since 2011.

In the fourth quarter, growth in France accelerated to 0.6 percent from a revised 0.5 percent, largely driven by exports. Meanwhile, Spain's economic growth slowed to 0.7 percent from 0.8 percent registered a quarter ago.

Elsewhere, a survey from European Commission showed that economic sentiment in the currency bloc moderated from a 17-year high in January, but remained at an elevated level.

The economic confidence index dropped unexpectedly to 114.7 in January from revised 115.3 in December. The score was forecast to rise to 116.2.

The softening of sentiment resulted from markedly lower confidence in services and retail trade, while confidence in industry remained stable.

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