Eurozone economy growth hits highest in decade

Growth in the eurozone shot up in 2017, putting Europe at the center of a global recovery and on par with levels of expansion not seen since before the financial crisis, according to figures released on Tuesday. Economic growth in the 19-country eurozone hit 2.5 percent, far ahead of the 1.8 percent reached a year earlier, the EU’s official statistics agency said.

Europe’s economic recovery roared on despite the uncertainty around Brexit, with the EU economies lifted by a resurgent France and Spain. The level, which was also matched by the 28-member EU as a whole, was the highest since 2007 when the eurozone economy hit 3.0 percent before the financial crisis implosion.

Growth in the euro area reached 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, Eurostat said, on par with a forecast by analysts surveyed by Factset. In the European Union as a whole, growth also increased by 2.5 percent in 2017 and by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

The data lands after the IMF last week said that the global economy is expected to expand at 3.9 percent this year and next, with advanced economies logging in solid and simultaneous growth, a convergence not seen since the crisis.

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