The eurozone’s two biggest economies have come out of recession.
France and Germany enjoyed a surprise return to economic growth in the second quarter of this year. German GDP grew by 0.3 percent between April and June, bringing to an end the country’s deepest down-turn since the second World War. France’s also saw the same growth but figures show the eurozone as a whole contracted by 0.1 percent. The French economy minister Christine Lagarde said the data were very surprising, but claimed consumption was holding up, helped in part by falling prices and government trade-in-schemes for old cars. Few analysts had predicted the news, which has boosted hopes of a broader eurozone recovery. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve also announced the US economy was showing signs of levelling out. However, it kept its benchmark short-term interest rate near zero, saying it would likely stay there for now to pave the way to recovery.