ECB, euro, EU fond.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Alex Guibord, used under CC BY-ND

The eurozone economy grew by 0.3 per cent in the last three months of 2015, holding steady despite growing financial turmoil around the world, data released on Friday showed.

The growth figure, which was in line with analysts' expectations, is likely to "come as something of a relief," said economist Jonathan Loynes of the Capital Economics research group. However, economic risks still lie ahead.

"The current environment of financial market turmoil and global economic uncertainty – as well as signs of renewed stress in peripheral eurozone bond markets – has increased the downside risks," Loynes noted.

The fourth quarter of 2015 saw quarter-on-quarter growth in all the eurozone's largest economies.

Spain led the way with 0.8 per cent, followed by Germany with 0.3 per cent, France with 0.2 per cent and Italy with 0.1 per cent, according to an estimate by the EU statistics agency Eurostat.

They were outpaced, however, by countries such as Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, which posted growth rates of at least 1 per cent.

At the other end of the spectrum, Greece and Finland saw their economies contract by 0.6 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively, while Austria and Latvia recorded 0.0 per cent growth.

Over all of 2015, the gross domestic product in the eurozone rose by 1.5 per cent, Eurostat said.

The 19-country currency bloc emerged from recession in 2013, but has struggled to rev up its economic engine. Its growth rates steadily dropped over the course of last year, going from 0.5 per cent in the first quarter to 0.3 per cent in the third quarter.

In the wider, 28-country European Union, economies expanded by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter and 1.8 per cent over all of 2015, Eurostat said.

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