Eurozone economic growth accelerates in Q1
According to France’s official statistics agency Insee, the country’s economy grew 0.6% in the first three months, posting the strongest rate of growth since the second quarter of 2013. Insee also reported that consumer spending rose 1.6% in the first quarter on the back of lower oil prices and a weaker euro.
In addition, Italy and Spain also posted stronger economic growth rates in the first quarter, expanding by 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively. In the first quarter of this year, Italy posted its first quarterly growth since 2011 while Spain recorded the strongest quarterly growth rate in the region as well as its strongest quarterly growth since 2007.
However, German economic growth slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter following a growth rate of 0.7% in the previous quarter due to weaker exports. Greece, meanwhile, has gone into recession again as the Greek economy contracted 0.2% after receding by 0.4% in the last quarter of 2014.
Meanwhile, according to a separate report released by Eurostat, industrial production in the eurozone rose 1.8% on the year in March after posting an upwardly revised gain of 1.9% in the previous month. March’s figures missed economists’ estimates, which called for an increase of 1.9%. On a monthly basis, however, industrial production in the eurozone fell 0.3% in March after an increase of 1% in February.
The report showed that production in the energy sector rose 3.8% on the year in March while capital goods output increased 0.3%. Production for durable goods decreased 1.7% while intermediate goods production was stable.
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