Eurozone expanded at a faster pace in the second quarter as economic activity gained further momentum.
Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially, faster than the revised 0.5 percent increase seen in the first quarter, preliminary flash estimates from Eurostat showed Tuesday.
The rate was in line with expectations. The estimate for the first quarter was revised down from 0.6 percent.
Eurostat is set to release updated GDP figures on August 16 and the final data will be issued on September 7.
National GDP data published so far showed that growth in France stabilized at 0.5 percent. Likewise, Austria’s growth remained unchanged at 0.8 percent.
Spain expanded 0.9 percent in the second quarter, which was the fastest since 2015.
On a yearly basis, Eurozone growth accelerated to 2.1 percent from 1.9 percent a quarter ago, Eurostat reported Tuesday. The annual rate also matched economists’ expectations.
In July, the International Monetary Fund revised up Eurozone growth outlook, citing stronger momentum in domestic demand than previously anticipated. GDP was forecast to climb 1.9 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2018.
According to the survey of professional forecasters published by ECB, the currency bloc will expand 1.9 percent in 2017 and 1.8 percent next year.
The euro-zone economy looks set to continue growing above its potential rate of between 1 percent and 1.5 percent, Jack Allen at Capital Economics said. This will eat into the remaining spare capacity in the economy, making the ECB more confident about tapering its asset purchases next year, he added.
The EU28 economy grew 0.6 percent on quarter after expanding 0.5 percent in the first quarter. Likewise, annual growth improved to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent.
Elsewhere, the final Purchasing Mangers’ survey showed that euro area manufacturing activity expanded at a slightly slower than initially estimated pace in July.
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 56.6 in July from a 74-month high of 57.4 in June. The flash score was 56.8. Nonetheless, the PMI has remained above the no-change mark of 50.0 for 49 successive months.
“The survey indicates that manufacturing output was growing at an annual rate of approximately 4 percent at the start of the third quarter, sustaining the best growth spell that the region has seen for six years,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said.
National surveys showed that the strongest improvements in operating conditions…