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Euro zone economic growth stays robust in second quarter

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Euro zone economic growth stays robust in second quarter

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone growth remained robust in the second quarter after a strong reading in the first three months of the year, preliminary estimates released by the European Union’s statistics agency showed on Tuesday. Eurostat said gross domestic product (GDP) in the 19-country currency bloc increased 0.6 percent in the second quarter on the quarter and 2.1 percent on the year, in line with forecasts of economists polled by Reuters. The EU statistics office revised slightly down the quarterly growth figure for the first quarter to 0.5 percent from the previously estimated 0.6 percent. In annualised terms, the euro zone economy expanded 2.3 percent in the second quarter after a 2.0 percent rise in the first three months of the year, Eurostat said. Updated estimates of euro zone GDP growth in the second quarter will be released by Eurostat on August 16 and final data will come on September 7. The acceleration in output growth confirms the sound recovery of the euro zone after data released on Monday showed the bloc recorded in June its lowest unemployment rate since 2009. The healthier state of the bloc’s economy support European Central Bank’s plans to begin a tightening of monetary policy in autumn, although headline inflation remained stable at 1.3 percent in July, below the ECB target of below but close to 2 percent.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio)
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