Eurozone economy picked up speed in the second quarter

Eurozone unemployment rate dropped to 9.1% in June

In the first quarter of 2017, the United Kingdom economy is estimated to have grown by just 0.2 per cent.

GDP in the 19 countries that use the euro expanded 0.6% in the second quarter of 2017, building on growth of 0.5% in the first quarter, according the European Union statistics body Eurostat (pdf).

Quarterly growth edged up from 0.5 percent at the start of the year, while year on year growth leapt to 2.1 percent from 1.9 percent, according to official figures from Eurostat.

This was the lowest unemployment rate recorded in the eurozone since February 2009.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile components and is seen as a more reliable gauge of inflationary pressures, rose to 1.2%.

The jobless rate fell to 9.1pc last month, from a downwardly revised 9.2pc in May, according to Eurostat.

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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. The latest check on manufacturing on Tuesday pointed to a rise in activity in July, helped by strong growth in export orders. The dollar was set to fall 1.9 percent against the yen to mark its biggest one-month percentage decline in six months.

Unemployment in Italy fell to 11.1 percent in June compared to 11.3 percent in May.

Other data last week showed that, within the eurozone, France's GDP expanded by 0.5 per cent in the second quarter and Spain's by 0.8 per cent.

The European Central Bank's president, Mario Draghi, kept expectations for the rate of inflation during this summer low, and data collected during the month of July has proved him right.

The ECB targets inflation of "just below 2 percent".

Eurostat said second-quarter GDP was up 2.1% compared with a year earlier, the fastest growth since 2011 and in line with forecasts by economists in a Reuters poll. Doubts over Donald Trump's ability to push through any sort of meaningful policy changes and a pushing back of expectations for Federal Reserve rate hikes has now seen the Dollar index relinquish nearly 9% of its value since the beginning of March alone.

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