Eurozone economy expanded by 0.6% in the third quarter of 2017

The eurozone economy expanded by 0.6% in the third quarter of 2017, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The eurozone is now on track to grow faster than the US and the UK this year.

On an annual basis, the eurozone economy grew by its fastest rate since the first quarter of 2011 in the three months to September. Eurostat said for the past 12 months the growth rate was 2.5%.

In comparison, US GDP grew by 2.3% over the last 12 months while UK GDP only expanded by 1.5%.

Unemployment in the eurozone was 8.9% in September – an almost nine-year low –  down from 9.0% in August 2017 and from 9.9% in September 2016.

Despite the bloc’s strengthening economy, Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.4% in October 2017, down from 1.5% in September 2017, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat.

Ulster Bank’s economists said the economic recovery in the eurozone has been stronger than expected. The bank said in a tweet: “Eurozone GDP rose 0.6% q/q & 2.5% y/y in Q3, a touch stronger than expected & providing new evidence of ongoing robust momentum”.

“The overall message from these figures reinforces the picture of a eurozone economy that is, at last, gaining some strength. It’s a reasonably good growth figure and the gradual decline in unemployment continues,” said Andrew Walker, BBC economics correspondent.

“That said, the jobless numbers are still high, painfully so in some countries. And inflation remains too low, at least in the view of the European Central Bank,” Walker added.