Eurozone: Economy ends 2016 on high note
January 31, 2017
The Eurozone’s economy picked up pace in the final quarter of 2016, as momentum firmed despite heightened political uncertainty. According to a preliminary estimate, the Eurozone economy increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% in Q4 from the previous quarter, which was above Q3’s 0.4% increase and met market expectations. Compared with the same quarter of 2015, GDP expanded 1.8% in Q4, which was unchanged from Q3’s result. For 2016, GDP grew 1.7%, a slight deceleration from 2015’s 2.0%.
Although the preliminary GDP data did not include a breakdown by components, the Eurozone’s growth story is expected to have remained unchanged. Domestic demand is in the driver’s seat as an improving labor market and expansionary monetary policy support economic activity. Economic sentiment rests at a multi-year high despite 2016 being a rollercoaster of a year in terms of political developments.
Meanwhile, additional data released by statistical offices across the continent showed that France’s economy picked up pace notably in Q4. Belgium also posted firmer growth, while Austria and Spain saw stable growth compared with the previous period. More complete GDP data will be released on 14 February and 7 March.