Published: Wed, February 15, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

German, eurozone economic growth revised down slightly

German, eurozone economic growth revised down slightly

German investor confidence fell sharply in February, the ZEW institute's closely-watched survey showed Tuesday, reflecting fears for Europe's largest economy at a time of global political uncertainty.

Growth in euro zone remained resilient in the fourth quarter of 2016, but slightly less than an earlier estimate, the latest data showed today.

The new estimates mirrored data released in Germany, the bloc's largest economy, which also grew 0.4 percent on the quarter, below market expectations of a 0.5 percent increase.

The overall growth rate for 2016 was confirmed at 1.9 percent, which was the strongest rate in half a decade.

The eurozone economy grew at a quarterly rate of 0.4% or 1.6% in annualized terms, the European Union's statistics agency said Tuesday. There was a reduced contribution from exports even as protectionist calls increased.

Available data "suggest that a positive contribution from domestic demand may have been offset by weak net trade", said Jessica Hinds of Capital Economics.

Economic growth in Germany and Italy was significantly lower at the end of 2016 than forecasts predicted after a year in which the continent witnessed rising populism, Brexit and terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people.

European economies are quietly recovering from the 2009 recession because of a weaker euro, cheaper oil prices and various stimulus packages provided by the European Central Bank. Inflation was 1.8 percent in January, nearing the ECB's target of "below, but close to 2 percent".

- Euro-Zone industrial output recorded its biggest fall in more than four years in December.

It was largely due to household and government spending.

Production of durable consumer goods, such as cars and refrigerators, was the only component of the indicator that went up.

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