It was the best period of growth in more than 10 years.
Europe’s economy grew faster than the US in 2017, according to official data released this week, which shows an increase of 2.5% in both the eurozone and European Union last year.
The results published by the EU’s statistics office Eurostat mark the best period of growth for both groupings in more than a decade, and put them slightly ahead of the US, which posted a 2.3% expansion in 2017.
Eurostat also estimated that gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro and the 28-member EU rose 0.6% during the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the previous quarter.
“It seems that the eurozone economy continues to fire on all cylinders,” said Bert Colijn, economist at ING bank.
By contrast, the UK economy grew by 1.8% in 2017, down from 1.9% the previous year and the weakest expansion since 2012.
Experts have said the results reflect the impact of higher inflation and weaker investment following the 2016 Brexit vote.
A government assessment leaked to BuzzFeed News this week found that the UK will be worse off outside the EU no matter what deal is struck with Brussels.