European Union economy records fastest economic growth in a decade

Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel

Figures were not available for Luxembourg's GDP during the last quarter of 2017.

During the last quarter of 2017, the economy of the whole European Union grew by 2.6% against the fourth quarter of 2016., while the eurozone recorded a 2.7% growth. Hungary's GDP grew just as quickly and Romania reported an even faster growth as its economy increased by 7% year-on-year. The figures were published by Eurostat, filling out estimates published at the end of January 2018 which were based on more limited data.

While the EU's largest economies performed well, smaller nations also posted notable growth.

The numbers offer a "sharp contrast" to the situation in the United Kingdom, says The Independent, where the economy grew by 1.8% a year ago and has been slowing over the past 12 months as inflation stemming from the fall in the value of sterling after the Brexit vote eroded household income. However, Eastern European countries such as Latvia and Slovakia were also growing 'particularly fast'.

Standard Chartered chief economist Europe Sarah Hewin told the BBC, "Activity is being supported by strong global growth, which is helping European exporters". "As far as regional variables, rising wages, low swelling and record-level business are driving buyer spending; in the interim, speculation is rising, helped by solid corporate productivity and light certainty".

However, while she expected eurozone economic growth to stay strong, "higher energy prices and a stronger euro may be headwinds to growth this year". The report showed +2.7% growth in GDP in the eurozone and +2.6% in the EU28 compared to the last quarter of 2016.

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