Eurozone economy gains steam with lowest unemployment in decade

Eurozone economy gains steam with lowest unemployment in decade

The Eurozone economy expanded at a faster pace in the second quarter, preliminary flash estimate from Eurostat showed Tuesday.

The single currency is the best performer in the G10 FX universe and has gained more than 11 percent against the dollar this year with the bulk of the gains coming in the last three months.

Across the European Union as a whole, including Britain, unemployment fell to its lowest since December 2008, at 7.7 per cent.

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Energy prices rose 2.2% in the year from 1.9% the previous month with the food and drink inflation rate unchanged at 1.4%.

The lowest rate was 6.7% in Germany and the highest 45.5% in Greece.

Most analysts expect further subdued United Kingdom growth in the second half of 2017 too as consumers continue to feel the squeeze from higher prices and firms hold back from investment due to uncertainty about post-Brexit trade arrangements.

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The healthier state of the bloc's economy could support European Central Bank's plans to begin a tightening of monetary policy in autumn, although headline inflation remained stable at 1.3 percent in July, below the ECB target of below but close to 2 percent.

The findings of the latest poll are in line with a separate Reuters survey of economists published earlier in July, which showed expectations for euro zone growth was strong and a reduction in policy accommodation was in the pipeline [ECB/INT].

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 9.1 percent in June from 9.2 percent in May, which was revised down from 9.3 percent. The dollar was set to fall 1.9 percent against the yen to mark its biggest one-month percentage decline in six months.

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But a jump in inflation, stemming from the 13 per cent slump in the value of the pound in the wake of the referendum, has dampened consumer spending this year, and pushed the UK's growth rate to the lowest of the G7 club of large and developed economies.

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