New EU figures show euro zone out of recession
GDP expands by 0.3 per cent in second quarter, marking end of downturn
The expansion in the euro zone’s economy in the second quarter ended the longest recession since the euro was established in 1999.
The euro zone is formally out of recession, according to figures published by the EU’s statistics agency in Luxembourg.
Gross domestic product - the widest measure of economic activity - expanded by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter.
The expansion followed six consecutive quarters of contraction - the longest recession since the euro was established in 1999.
However, activity in the euro zone, which is the second largest economy in the world after the US, remains down on the year-earlier period, recording a GDP contraction of 0.7 per cent in the second quarter.
Germany, which is the biggest economy within the eurozone, beat forecasters’ expectations, growing by 0.7 per cent on the quarter.
The region’s second largest economy France grew by 0.5 per cent in the second quarter, the strongest rate of growth since 2011.
Among the countries for which figures were published, Portugal recorded the strongest growth in the second quarter, expanding by 1.1 per cent. The bailed-out country has suffered one of the most severe and protracted recessions in Europe in recent years.
Eurostat confirmed data previously published by the national statistics agencies of Italy and Spain that both economies remained in recession in the second quarter. Respectively the third and fourth largest economies in the euro zone, their deep and protracted contractions continued, albeit at more moderate rates than in most recent quarters.