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European Union economic growth at ten-year high

15 February 2018

Figures were not available for Luxembourg's GDP during the last quarter of 2017.

Data from the European Union statistics office shows the European Union economy expanded by 2.5% in 2017, its strongest performance since 2007 and the start of the financial crisis.

The bloc of 28 countries put in a strong performance in the final quarter of the year, growing 0.6%, mainly driven by good economic results from Germany, Spain and France.

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That was mirrored by growth in the EU's biggest economy, Germany, which grew by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2017.

Data from the UK's Office for National Statistics released in January showed the United Kingdom economy growing by 1.5% in 2017, as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit dragged on both consumption and investment, slowing growth down.

According to Eurostat's flash estimate published on Wednesday, growth was more marked when compared to the same periods in 2016.

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Investec economist Ryan Djajasaputra said much of the growth past year had been driven by the eurozone's core four economies: Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Hungary's GDP grew just as quickly and Romania reported an even faster growth as its economy increased by 7% year-on-year. Rising wages, low inflation and record-level employment have also boosted consumer spending, which has in turn boosted investor confidence, he said.

Exports for the month rose by 1.7% from November, while imports were 0.9% higher.

Standard Chartered chief economist Europe Sarah Hewin told the BBC, "Activity is being supported by strong global growth, which is helping European exporters".

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Standard Chartered is forecasting eurozone growth of 2.2% in 2018 and 2% in 2019.

European Union economic growth at ten-year high