The eurozone economy grew at a modest pace in the third quarter, data from the EU statistics office Eurostat showed today, with Germany narrowly escaping a technical recession and other big economies expanding marginally.
In year-on-year terms, the largest GDP expansion was recorded in Hungary (4.8%) and Poland (4%).
Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economy, grew 0.1% in the third quarter after a -0.2% contraction in the previous three months, thereby avoiding a technical recession (two consecutive quarters of negative growth.)
France, the second biggest economy grew by 0.3% in the third quarter against the previous three months and the third biggest Italy expanded 0.1%.
Spain and the Netherlands, the fourth and fifth biggest economies of the bloc, each grew by 0.4%.
In addition, Eurostat has reported that employment grew by 0.1% in the Eurozone and the EU as a whole in the third quarter compared to the previous three months. In comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, employment grew by 1% in the euro zone and 0.9% in the EU, compared with an increase of 1.2% and 1% respectively in the second quarter.
Referring to the German growth figures, Matthew Cady, Investment Strategist at Brooks Macdonald said in the Guardian: That today’s number is better than slightly expected is potentially the worst of both worlds… not strong enough to assuage growth fears in the Eurozone and not weak enough to push Germany into a meaningful fiscal response.”
“Effectively, it leaves the German economy close to stagnation,” he added.
In September, in one of his last acts as ECB chief, Mario Draghi revised down the Eurozone’s expected growth rate for the year to 1.2 percent from an earlier forecast of 1.1 percent. The central lender also lowered its growth forecast for 2020 by two tenths, from 1.4 percent projected in June to 1.2 percent, but maintains its growth estimate for 2021 of 1.4 percent.
Draghi also announces began a monthly purchase of 20 billion euros of bonds in November, among other measures designed to boost the Eurozone economy.