The euro zone clocked quarterly growth of 0.1 percent in the third quarter, falling short of expectations of a 0.2 percent growth, and lower than the 0.3 percent growth recorded in the second quarter, a preliminary government estimate released on Thursday showed, suggesting that the economic recovery lost steam in the third quarter.

The 17-member euro zone economy shrank 0.4 percent in the third quarter on a yearly basis, falling more than the consensus of a 0.3 percent decline, but less than the 0.6 percent yearly drop in gross domestic product, or GDP, seen in the previous quarter, Eurostat data showed.

In the 28-member European Union, or EU, GDP rose 0.1 percent on a yearly basis in the third quarter, reversing a decline of 0.2 percent in the preceding quarter. Quarter-on-quarter, the EU economy grew 0.2 percent, lower than the 0.3 percent growth in the second quarter.

In comparison, the U.S. economy grew by 0.7 percent in the third quarter on a quarterly basis, and by 1.6 percent on a yearly basis, according to Eurostat.

“The figures underline the message that growth in the euro-zone is nowhere near strong enough to start to tackle the deep-seated problems of sky-high unemployment, growing deflation risks and crippling levels of debt in the weaker economies,” Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, said in a note.

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“The ECB has arguably already responded to the slowdown with its surprise cut in interest rates last week.”