Eurozone GDP revives hopes of UK export recovery

Eurozone economy grew 0.3% in the final three months of 2013 from 0.1% in previous quarter

Economics Editor

Hopes of a UK export recovery were buoyed after Germany and France fired the euro zone a third successive quarter of growth.

GDP across the single currency bloc increased by 0.3 per cent in the three months to December, accelerating from the previous quarter’s 0.1 per cent growth and beating analysts’ expectations of an 0.2 per cent expansion.

A pick-up in Europe, the destination of around half of the UK’s exports, bolstered hopes that Britain’s recovery, which has so far relied on household spending, will start to rebalance.

Over 2013 as a whole the eurozone, which emerged from an 18-month double-dip recession last April, contracted by 0.4 per cent. The European Commission is forecasting growth for the bloc of 1.1 per cent in 2014, still considerably below the 2.7 per cent consensus for UK growth this year.

German GDP expanded by 0.4 per cent in the final three months of last year, while growth in France came in at 0.3 per cent, both exceeding analysts’ expectations.

Francois Hollande’s government was also boosted by news that France flatlined in the third quarter, rather than contracting by 0.1 per cent as previously reported.

Italy eked out 0.1 per cent growth, its first expansion since the third quarter of 2011.

The Netherlands expanded by 0.7 per cent, up sharply from 0.3 per cent growth in the previous quarter. Portugal’s recovery also picked up, by 0.5 per cent, following 0.3 per cent growth in the third quarter.

The European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold this month, despite inflation in the eurozone dipping to just 0.7 per cent, well below its 2 per cent target.

The ECB’s president Mario Draghi, pictured, said he saw low inflation for an “extended period”, but added he would be prepared to take “decisive action if required” to support growth in the currency bloc.

“Today’s better-than-expected GDP data does provide the ECB with a little more confidence about the recovery and hence reduce the chances of a March rate cut,” said Martin van Vliet of ING.

The main contributor to Germany’s expansion was exports. But in France growth was boosted by a mix of exports, consumption and investment. Household spending was up 0.5 per cent, while investment expanded by 0.6 per cent.

Exports put on 1.2 per cent, following a 1.6 per cent drop in the previous quarter. French finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, said the figures showed France was “back on a growth path”, although he stressed reform was still necessary to bring down its 10.8 per cent unemployment rate.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam