Economic growth in the 19 country eurozone slowed to 0.3 percent in the second quarter according to official figures. A 0.4 percent growth was forecast.
What is seen as relatively meagre expansion came against the backdrop of heavy monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank and a weak euro that boosted exports.
The bloc’s largest economy, Germany accelerated slightly to 0.4 percent from 0.3 in the first quarter. France’s economy didn’t grow at all. Italy showed a 0.2 percent growth while Spain grew by one percent.
The data from Germany was below expectations for a 0.5 percent expansion. The country’s Federal Statistics Office said that weakness in investment and a marked drop in inventories weighed on growth while the weaker euro helped exports.
Despite stagnation in the French economy in the second quarter finance minister Michel Sapin said he believed the economy was still on track to reach the government’s target of 1 percent growth for the year. Weak consumer spending slowed growth.
The weak recovery from three years of recession in Italy lost momentum as the economy grew by 0.2 percent in the second quarter after a 0.3 percent expansion in the first.
There was little optimism in economic reports from Finland where the economy contracted for the fourth consecutive quarter down 0.4 percent.