Germany and France, the eurozone’s two largest economies, performed better than expected in the third quarter, with Germany narrowly avoiding a triple-dip recession. However, Italy, the third-largest economy, has slid back into recession, its third since the financial crisis struck.
The eurozone as a whole grew by 0.2% between July and September following 0.1% growth in the second quarter, according to Eurostat. Greece has finally come out of recession, after nearly six years of misery.
There was some relief in financial markets as Germany, Europe’s largest economy, eked out growth of 0.1%. The second quarter was also revised higher to show a contraction of 0.1% rather than 0.2% as previously estimated, Germany’s Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) said. Many economists had feared the country could slip back into recession, defined as two or more consecutive quarters of contraction. Germany had a strong start to the year with 0.8% growth in the first quarter.
France expanded 0.3% in the third quarter, the highest since the second quarter of 2013 and beating analysts’ expectations of 0.2% growth, the French statistics office Insee said.
Among the bigger eurozone economies, Italy was the only one that disappointed. It shrank 0.1% between July and September, marking the 13th quarter without any growth. Following a 0.2% contraction in the second quarter, this means Italy is in its third recession since 2008.
The data just released by Eurostat shows that the Greek economy grew by 0.8% between January and March, and by another 0.3% between April and June, before posting 0.7% growth in the third quarter.