Eurozone Growth Less Than Expected in Third-Quarter


The European Union revised downwards on Wednesday its figure for Eurozone growth over the third quarter of last year, to 0.1 percent.

The previous figure given was 0.2 percent and detailed EU data showed that a drop on France's previously published growth rate between July and September, from 0.4 percent to 0.3 percent, impacted the revision in gross domestic product (GDP).

Economists are watching closely to see if the first estimate for the all-important final three months of 2011 shows the Eurozone -- home to some 330 million people across Europe -- dipping into recessionary waters.

The data published online by the EU's Eurostat agency kept German growth for the period at 0.5 percent.

Spain posted zero percent, while Italy and the Netherlands each saw shrinkages, although the Dutch contraction was narrowed to 0.2 percent from the 0.3 percent initially indicated.

Difficult to compare on an exact like-for-like basis due to differences in statistical methodology, the EU said that the United States posted 0.5 percent growth for the same period and Japan 1.5 percent.

Germany reported separately Wednesday that its economy grew 3.0 percent in 2011 but shrank about a quarter of a percentage point in the last three months of 2011.