People walk past a department store in Paris April 5, 2013. Reuters/Charles Platiau

The German economy grew 0.3 percent in the quarter ended September 2013, in line with expectations, but lower than the 0.7 percent reported in the preceding quarter, while the French economy shrank unexpectedly on a quarterly basis by 0.1 percent, after witnessing a 0.5 percent expansion in the second quarter, preliminary government estimates showed on Thursday. Analysts had estimated French gross domestic product, or GDP, to expand 0.1 percent in the September quarter.

Domestic demand drove the German GDP, while increasing imports and reduced exports put downward pressure on economic activity, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed. On a yearly basis, GDP grew 1.1 percent, higher than a consensus estimate of 0.7 percent, and the 0.9 percent growth recorded in the previous quarter.

In France, yearly GDP growth was pegged at 0.2 percent in the third quarter, after recording zero growth in the second quarter. Household spending grew at a slower pace while production of goods and services declined. Exports relapsed and imports continued to rise, hurting growth.