EU growth approaches pre-crisis levels

Figures from the European Union statistics office have confirmed that 2017 saw the bloc grow at its fastest pace in a decade, according to BBC News.

In 2017 the EU expanded 2.5%, the largest growth since 2007, which saw growth of 2.7%. The final quarter of 2017 saw the 28-nation block and 19-nation eurozone grow 0.6% compared with the Q3.

Q4 growth in Germany was 0.6%, France expanded 0.6% and Spain grew 0.7%. The figures were published by Eurostat, filling out estimates published at the end of January 2018 which were based on more limited data.

Ryan Djajasaputra, an Investec economist said that the growth was driven by the eurozone’s four core economies, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. However, Eastern European countries such as Latvia and Slovakia were also growing ‘particularly fast.’

Djajasaputra said the growth could be attributed to the strength of the European Central Bank’s stimulus policies, which have brought down the cost of borrowing. Confidence and employment levels are also recovering to pre-financial crisis levels.