Eurozone GDP growth poorest since 2013
Growth in Germany, which is the bloc’s biggest economy, has stagnated
The Eurozone economy grew just 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, which is the weakest pace of growth since the first quarter of 2013.
Data from the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat revealed a 0.9 per cent year-on-year gain, which is a downward revision from the previously estimated 1.0 per cent growth.
Growth in Germany, which is the bloc’s biggest economy, has stagnated while France and Italy contracted 0.1 and 0.4 per cent, respectively.
Greg Daco of Oxford Economic predicts the 0.1 per cent growth will be repeated in January-March, while coronavirus disruptions "derail the nascent industrial recovery".
It’s not all bad news, however, as Spain's economy expanded 0.5 per cent, while Eurozone employment rose 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the last three months of 2019 for a 1.0 per cent year-on-year gain.
In addition, Eurostat said the Eurozone’s trade surplus with the rest of the world was 22.2bn in December, taking into account seasonal factors. This is up from 19.1bn in November, as exports rose 0.9 per cent and imports fell 0.7 per cent.
This brings the total trade surplus in 2019 to 225.7bn, up from 194.6bn last year.
Following the announcement of the latest GDP figures, European shares were trading sideways on Friday.
British drugmaker AstraZeneca is on track for its worst day since mid-2017, after it dropped more than 5 per cent, while the Royal Bank of Scotland Group dropped to the bottom of the STOXX 600, when it revealed a new strategy to reduce the size of its investment bank and rename the company.
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