European Union economic growth at ten-year high

The performance has offset fears over the future of the currency itself

The performance has offset fears over the future of the currency itself

The EU economy grew at its fastest rate in 10 years in 2017, registering a 2.5% increase on the year before.

Data from the UK's Office for National Statistics released in January showed the United Kingdom economy growing by 1.5% in 2017, as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit dragged on both consumption and investment, slowing growth down. The figures were published by Eurostat, filling out estimates published at the end of January 2018 which were based on more limited data.

A stronger global economy has helped the Eurozone to an impressive performance during 2017, but "economists have been particularly cheered by the broad-based nature of growth, which has seen expansions in peripheral countries as well as the core large economies", reports City AM. There was also good news for Cyprus whose GDP increased by 1.1% and for Poland whose economy grew by 1% in the final quarter of 2017. Confidence and employment levels are also recovering to pre-financial crisis levels.

Eurostat also said the US was the top export market for the European Union with exports amounting to €375 billion ($423.75 billion), which accounts for 19.96 percent of the 28 countries' exports over a 12-month long period.

"While there is probably still significant room for the European Central Bank before it starts tightening its monetary policy, a further pick-up in activity could see a more accelerated scale back of its quantitative easing programme", she added.

"After many false dawns, at last some sunlight has fallen on Europe's strongest economies", said the BBC's economics editor Kamal Ahmed.

The European Union's trade surplus with the U.S. widened by 6.8 percent over the past year despite threats of a trade war from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has branded the relationship between the two regions as unfair.

And the continent's powerhouse countries - Germany and France - are seeing growth at levels not experienced since the financial crisis bounce-back of 2010.

The bounce, sadly, was what markets describe as a "dead cat".

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