A strong performance from the German economy in the third quarter of the year helped the Eurozone to sustain its impressive momentum, according to the latest national figures published today.
GDP expanded by 0.8 per cent in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, during the third quarter, according to the German Federal Statistical Office, an improvement from the 0.6 per cent growth in the second quarter.
Over the last year the German economy has grown by 2.8 per cent, while Italy and Portugal both also contributed to the broader Eurozone economy, both growing by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter.
The European economy has gained pace over the course of 2017, resulting in surging consumer confidence as unemployment has continued to drop steadily. The improvement has buoyed European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, who has deflected criticisms of accommodative monetary policy, saying it is necessary to sustain the strong momentum.
The improved outlook has helped investor confidence, which rose further in the past month, according to the ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Germany.
The widely followed measure rose to 88.8 points, up 1.8 points from October and gradually moving towards the long-term mean level.
Achim Wambach, Zew president, said: “The prospects for the German economy remain encouragingly positive. Overall high levels of growth across Europe in the third quarter are supporting further growth in Germany and boosting expectations for the coming six months.”
The broader European economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, according to a slight upward revision of growth published today by the European Commission.
The updated measure “paints a picture of a sustained and broad-based recovery in the Eurozone economy,” according to Claus Vistesen, chief Eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“Growth is accelerating in Germany, Italy and France and remains robust in Spain at over three per cent year-over-year.”
Carsten Hesse, European economist at German bank Berenberg, said: “So far, the Catalan political turmoil, the political uncertainty in Italy ahead of the spring 2018 elections and sticky Brexit negotiations have had no measurable negative impact on the Eurozone economy.”