Euro zone economic growth weakest since 2016

Gross domestic product expanded 0.4% in the first quarter in the euro area

Gross domestic product expanded by 0.4 per cent in the euro area in the first three months of this year. Photograph: iStock

Gross domestic product expanded by 0.4 per cent in the euro area in the first three months of this year. Photograph: iStock

 

Economic growth in the euro zone cooled in the first quarter to the weakest pace since mid-2016, according to figures released on Thursday that confirm a previous estimate.

Gross domestic product expanded by 0.4 per cent in the euro area in the first three months of this year, on a quarter over quarter basis, according to Eurostat’s third reading. The rate was the lowest since the third quarter of 2016.

The report highlights the euro zone’s disappointing start to 2018. Other big economies also had a tough start to the year, with growth in the US clocking in at 0.5 per cent sequentially from 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Economists had broadly forecast that growth in the euro zone would accelerate later in the year. However, second quarter data have also underwhelmed. In Germany, for instance, factory orders unexpectedly fell in April for the fourth month in a row, marking a dreary start to the second quarter. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018