Eurozone economies strengthen

<p>The 19 countries saw economic growth of around 0.3 per cent between April and June.</p>

The economy of the 19 eurozone countries has collectively grown by around 0.3 per cent between April and June.

That's according to official figures – a first estimate – from Eurostat, which show a slight slowdown from the 0.4 per cent growth seen during the first quarter of the year

Eurostat's figures also indicated that inflation in the eurozone was 0.2 per cent in July – this was unchanged from the rate of inflation seen in June.

Previous figures showed that France's economy did not grow at all between April and June. However, growth in the first three months of the year has been revised up from 0.6 per cent to 0.7 per cent, reports Insee.

Other data also indicated that Germany's economy grew 0.4 per cent – that's up from 0.3 per cent in the previous quarter – and Italy's economy grew 0.2 per cent, which was a slight slowdown from 0.3 per cent growth in the first quarter of the year.

European Union

Across the 28 members of the European Union, GDP was up 0.4 per cent – the same as the previous quarter. Inflation was also flat at 0.1 per cent in July.

Eleven EU countries reported deflation in July. Cyprus saw the biggest drop at -2.4 per cent. Malta saw the highest inflation at 1.2 per cent.

Commenting on the results, French finance minister Michel Sapin said his country's economy was on track to reach the one per cent growth that the government has forecast for the year.

He explained that exports were strong, having grown 1.7 per cent in the quarter – compared to 1.3 per cent in the previous quarter.

France also saw a slowing in the growth of consumption by households – from 0.9 per cent to 0.1 per cent. Production of goods and services also contracted.

In Germany, exports grew strongly – the weaker euro helped with this.

In Finland, the economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter. It was down 0.4 per cent, following negative growth of 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

The BBC also reports that preliminary figures from Greece, which were released on Thursday, indicated that the economy grew at a rate much better than expected. The country saw growth of 0.8 per cent, compared to zero growth in the first quarter.

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