EUROZONE ECONOMY RISES BY 1%
The eurozone economy grew by one per cent between April and June, official figures have confirmed.
The initial estimate was published last month, showing stronger growth than expected, largely due to strong exports that were boosted by a weaker euro, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported on Thursday.
The German economy, which grew by 2.2 per cent over the three months, helped to drive the zone's overall growth.
The figures confirmed the eurozone was growing faster than the United States economy, which grew by 0.4 per cent during the quarter.
Exports grew by 4.4 per cent, exactly the same amount in percentage terms as the increase in imports, the zone's official statistics agency, Eurostat, said.
Growth in the eurozone was also boosted by a rise in household spending, which was 0.5 per cent higher than in the previous quarter.
Eurostat also confirmed that growth in the United Kingdom between April and June was 1.2 per cent, while growth was 0.6 per cent in France, 0.4 per cent in Italy and 0.2 per cent in Spain.
It is an externally led recovery – if you look at export growth it's very, very strong, ' Mr. Stefan Schneider of Deutsche Bank said.
The Greek economy shrank by 1.5 per cent and was the only economy in the eurozone to contract during the period.
However, he questioned the strength of household spending, despite the modest rise in the last quarter.
'If you look at private consumption, this is still very modest given the labour market situation in various European countries, which is not very positive for consumption,' he said.
Figures also released on Thursday showed a rise of 61,000 in unemployment benefit claims in Spain in August, as short-term summer contracts began to expire.
This followed four months of falling claims, but was entirely expected as the summer tourism season comes to an end.
The Spanish unemployment rate remains at about 20 per cent.
Figures released earlier this week showed unemployment in the wider eurozone remaining stubbornly high at a record rate of 10 per cent.
This is slightly higher than the 9.5 per cent unemployment rate in the US.
High unemployment is undermining the global economic recovery, analysts said.