Eurostat confirms euro zone GDP, employment growth slows in third quarter

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© Reuters. A businessman walks on the esplanade of La Defense, in the financial and business district west of Paris© Reuters. A businessman walks on the esplanade of La Defense, in the financial and business district west of Paris

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone economy grew at its slowest pace in four years in the third quarter of 2018, while employment growth also eased during the period, data released by the European Union statistics agency Friday showed, confirming earlier estimates.

Euro zone gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.2 percent in the July-September period, Eurostat reported, confirming its earlier preliminary estimates.

This was the slowest rate of economic growth since the second quarter of 2014 and a marked slowdown from 0.4 percent growth in the second quarter.

On the year, the GDP growth rate in the 19-country currency bloc was 1.6 percent, Eurostat said, revising down its earlier estimate of a 1.7 percent expansion.

The economy of Germany, the euro zone’s largest, contracted by 0.2 percent on the quarter, France’s was 0.4 percent stronger, while Italy’s GDP shrunk by 0.1 percent.

In a separate release on Friday, Eurostat confirmed its previous estimates on employment growth in the euro zone.

The number of people employed in the euro zone increased by 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter and by 1.3 percent year-on-year, compared with rates of 0.4 and 1.5 percent respectively in the second quarter.

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