Eurozone beats growth expectations

The eurozone’s reputation as the laggard of the global economy appeared to be overly pessimistic, after revised figures showed annual GDP growth in the currency bloc edged higher to 1.7%.

Eurostat, the official data agency for the European Union, showed that GDP growth in the first quarter was 0.6%, after being trimmed to 0.5% in an earlier estimate, pushing the annual growth rate up from the previous estimate of 1.6%.

Eurostat pointed out that an increase in investment was among the biggest factors in the boost to GDP across the eurozone along with a rise in exports of 0.4%, though the eurozone’s healthy trade balance was slightly eroded by a rise in imports of 0.7%.

Among the largest economies in the EU, France grew at 0.6%, Germany 0.7% and Spain 0.8%. Italy could only manage a 0.3% growth rate while Greece contracted by 0.5%, Poland slipped by 0.1% and Hungary suffered a 0.8% drop in national income.