The economic growth rate for the 19-member eurozone saw a growth of 2.3 percent year-on-year for the fiscal year of 2017, according to official data which was released by the economic block earlier in the week. The registered rate of growth for the year was however a little less than the 2.5 per cent that the markets had been earlier expecting it to register.
“Over the whole year 2017, gross domestic products (GDP) rose by 2.3 percent in the euro area and by 2.4 percent in the EU, compared with 1.8 percent and 2.0 percent respectively in 2016,” European Union (EU) statistics agency Eurostat said in a statement.
An anticipated growth rate of 2.5 per cent for the GDP for both the 28-member European Union area as well as for the eurozone was issued by Eurostat in a report by it published in February.
For the December quarter of 2017, there was a rise of 0.6 per cent in the seasonally adjusted GDP for both the eurozone and the EU in comparison to the previous quarter, showed data from Eurostat.
The third quarter of last year had reported a quarter-on-quarter adjusted growth rate of 0.7 per cent.
“Among member states for which data are available for the fourth quarter of 2017, Estonia (2.2 percent), Slovenia (2.0 percent) and Lithuania (1.4 percent) recorded the highest growth compared with the previous quarter,” the agency said.
The lowest growth rates of 0.1 per cent was notched by both Greece and Croatia while the second slowest growth rates of 0.3 per cent was accorded to Italy and Latvia, the agency declared.
Net exports was the main driver for the 0.6-percent quarterly growth. There was growth in net exports by 1.7 per cent in the EU and a growth of 1.9 per cent in the eurozone in for the December quarter in comparison to the earlier quarter, showed the agency figures. In the third quarter of last year, the same figures for the two regions were 1.3 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.
The growth is also reflective of the impact of long periods of monetary stimulus implemented by the European Central Bank which was aimed at reducing deflation and increasing inflation.
“Timelier evidence suggests that growth is no longer accelerating, but we still expect the economy to continue growing at a fairly strong pace this year,” according to analysis by European Economics.
Despite the slower than expected growth rate for the entire year, the growth was the fastest that the eurozone had notched in since 2007.
The broader EU however showed a slower rate of growth at 2,4 per cent – revised from the earlier estimate of 2.5 per cent.
There was a lower revision in the estimates primarily because of technical changes in the manner in which the calculations were made for the revised figures compared to the earlier estimates, the Eurostat said. But still, compared to 2016, a marked improvement was noted for the 2017 figures. In 2016, the GDP growth rate for the eurozone was 1.8 per cent and that of the EU was at 2 per cent.
(Adapted from Xinhuanet.com & FT.com)