Euro Zone Economic Growth Disappoints In Third Quarter

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Euro zone
A man uses his mobile phone to take a picture of the euro sculpture outside the head quarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Nov. 5, 2013.

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.

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

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