Growth slows



Economy: GDP rose 0.2% during the second quarter of the year, compared to first quarter, in both the 17-country Euro area and 27-nation EU, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday morning.

This is slower growth than the 0.8% gain recorded during the first quarter of 2011, and 0.3% Euro area increase during the fourth quarter of 2010, reports statistics agency Eurostat, which is based in Luxembourg.

Germany and the Netherlands experienced 0.1% growth during the first three months of this year, while Belgium’s economy expanded 0.7% and France held even. GDP in Latvia was up 2.2% and 1.8% in Estonia.

Bloomberg News quoted Citibank’s chief euro area economist as saying the German figures were “disappointing,” as markets had expected stronger results.

However, numbers in Europe were similar or better than in other parts of the industrialised world. Eurostat reported the US economy rose 0.3% during the first quarter, while Japan’s GDP fell by the same amount.

Tuesday’s estimate does not include economic data from the Grand Duchy and six other European states.