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The UK economy grew slower than Europe for the first time since 2010

Will Martin
Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel

Reuters/Yves Herman

  • The eurozone's economy outgrew the UK for the first time since 2010.
  • EZ economic growth was 2.7% in 2017, according to preliminary estimates.
  • That's compared to just 1.5% growth in the UK, whose economy remains under pressure from Brexit uncertainties.

LONDON — For the first time in seven years, the Eurozone's economy grew quicker than the UK's last year, data from Eurostat confirmed.

Eurostat released its preliminary growth estimates for the final quarter of 2017 on Wednesday, which showed the bloc of euro nations growing at a combined 2.7% over the course of the year, having expanded 0.6% in the final quarter alone.

"Industry helped drive the euro-zone’s 0.6% expansion in Q4, and the outlook seems bright," Stephen Brown, an economist at Capital Economics said.

Comparatively, data from the UK's Office for National Statistics released in January showed the UK economy growing by 1.5% in 2017, as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit dragged on both consumption and investment, slowing growth down.

By contrast, the eurozone is positively flourishing, as it finally kicks into gear following years of recovery from the debt crisis which plagued the Single Currency area from 2011 onwards.

Wednesday's data is no great surprise, and came in in line with forecasts, but does act as confirmation of the divergent economic fortunes of Britain and its neighbours across the channel.

"Overall, these data confirm that the expansion in the Eurozone is broad-based across all the economies," Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said in an email.

The broad based expansion of the eurozone economy is once again in contrast with the UK, which remains heavily reliant on the dominant services sector for the majority of its growth.

"The dominant services sector, driven by business services and finance, increased by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter," the ONS said in its January release.

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