Eurozone Continues Emergence from Recession

The eurozone’s economy grew by 0.3% in the final three months of 2013, an improvement on the meagre 0.1% growth in Q313 and marking the third quarter of growth since the end of an 18-month recession, the longest period of contraction to affect the single currency area.

The eurozone figures include 17 of the European Union (EU) economies. Latvia joined them last month to become the currency zone’s 18th member. Across all 28 countries in the EU, including the UK, growth for the October to December period was 0.4%.

The data issued by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, also showed that for 2013 as a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.4% in the eurozone, but over the EU as a whole it edged up by 0.1%.

Separate data for France and Germany showed growth in the eurozone’s two largest economies in Q4. Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.4%, against growth of 0.3% recorded in Q3 according to the federal statistics office, Destatis.

France’s Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économique (INSEE) reported that the French economy grew by 0.3% in Q4, while the original figure for Q3 showing a -0.1% contraction was revised to show zero growth for the quarter. Over 2013 as a whole, France’s economy grew by 0.3%.

“The eurozone’s recovery has moved up a gear,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist of financial services information firm Markit.

“Not only has the pace of growth picked up to the fastest since the second quarter of 2011, but the recovery is also becoming more broad-based, encompassing core and so-called ‘periphery’ countries alike.”

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