Eurozone fourth quarter economic growth beats expectations

Jessica Morris
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The Eurozone economy grew by more than expected in the final three months of last year, nevertheless economists described its performance as steady but disappointing.

Eurostat said today that Eurozone gross domestic product grew by 0.3 per cent from October to December, beating economists' forecasts for it to stagnate, Eurostat said today.

This was unchanged from the previous quarter and means that, over the whole of 2015, Eurozone gross domestic product rose by 1.5 per cent.

"Official data confirm the steady but disappointingly unspectacular growth achieved by the Eurozone at the end of last year," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said.

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Today's release was particularly topical because it caps off a turbulent week on financial markets. Around $1.2 trillion has been wiped off the value of global equities since Monday, with banks bearing the brunt of widespread concern that another recession could be on the cards.

"There are clearly mounting downside risks to the Eurozone growth outlook coming from global growth problems and financial market weakness and volatility," Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS, said.

"Nevertheless, the domestic fundamentals still look broadly supportive to Eurozone economic activity."

Germany experienced the best growth of the three biggest Eurozone economies, swelling 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, France and Italy added 0.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

But it was Spain that was the star performer, adding 0.8 per cent during this period.

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