Eurozone economy sees growth pick up

Eurozone economy sees growth pick up – The eurozone economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 0.3% in the last three months of 2014, figures show.

European statistics agency Eurostat also said gross domestic product (GDP) in the currency bloc rose by 0.9% across 2014 as a whole.

Figures released earlier showed Germany’s economy – the largest in the eurozone – grew by 0.7% in the three months to the end of December.

But France’s economy grew by just 0.1% in the same period.

Of the 18 member states of the eurozone only three recorded a contraction in their economy: Greece, Finland and Cyprus.

In the case of Greece the 0.2% contraction in the economy in the fourth quarter came after three consecutive quarters of growth. That disappointed analysts, who had been expecting the figures to show the economy growing again.

“This means that there is a high chance that Greece will slip back into recession, especially after the huge uncertainty brought about by the election and subsequent bail-out dispute, which is ongoing,” said Azad Zangana, senior European economist at Schroders.

Greece’s newly-elected government is currently trying to re-negotiate the conditions of its €240bn (£182bn) bailout from the eurozone, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which it feels are punitive.


Robert Peston, BBC News13 February 2015

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