Eurozone emerges from recession
The eurozone has finally emerged from recession following an unprecedented 18 months of economic contraction. Its GDP grew by 0.3% in the second quarter of 2013.
The expected growth follows news that the German economy rose 0.7% between April and June. Germany and France both posted stronger-than-expected growth, expanding 0.7% and 0.5% respectively. Portugal showed the fastest growth, at 1.1%.
The country was one of three that had to take a multi-billion-euro bailout but has recently seen its fortunes take a turn for the better. Not all bloc countries fared quite so well. Italy and the Netherlands both saw output drop by 0.2%.
Spain, saw its economic output fall by 0.1% over the quarter.
European Commission Vice-President Olli Rehn said the figures suggested the European economy was gradually gaining momentum, but added there was no room for complacency. "There are still substantial obstacles to overcome: the growth figures remain low and the tentative signs of growth are still fragile," he said.
"A number of member states still have unacceptably high unemployment rates; the implementation of essential, but difficult reforms across the EU is still in its early stages. So there is still a very long way to go."
Analysts from Capital Economics said: "The return to modest rates of economic growth in the eurozone as a whole won't address the deep-seated economic and fiscal problems of the peripheral countries."