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Confidence High in Eurozone

Confidence High in EurozoneConfidence High in Eurozone

The eurozone economy finished off last year with another quarter of robust growth, and confidence among businesses and households suggests there’s no slowdown in sight, Bloomberg reported. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, estimated Tuesday that gross domestic product rose 0.6% in the three months through December, in line with forecasts and marking a 19th-straight expansion. The French and Spanish economies, two of the bloc’s largest, recorded similarly solid rates of growth. The strong end to the year put the euro region’s 2017 expansion at 2.5%. That’s better than anticipated by economists and the European Central Bank, and it’s a pace the region hasn’t seen since before the financial crisis in 2008. The French economy expanded 0.6% in the quarter, delivering its best full year since 2011. Spain shrugged off the political crisis in Catalonia late last year with growth of 0.7%. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus had to be bailed out by their partners in the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund, and in return they made deep budget cuts to get their public finances into shape, hitting their economies hard.

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