September 7, 2018 / 9:08 AM / a year ago

Eurozone second quarter GDP growth confirmed at 0.4 percent despite negative trade

FILE PHOTO: View of Estonia's capital Tallinn July 13, 2010. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone economy grew at 0.4 percent in the second quarter, EU statistics agency Eurostat confirmed on Friday, as business and other investments rose sharply while net trade was negative.

Eurostat confirmed its first estimate that the economy of the 19 countries sharing the euro zone increased by 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter, while revising its year-on-year figure to 2.1 percent from an initial 2.2 percent.

Gross fixed capital formation rose by 1.2 percent during the second quarter, contributing 0.3 percentage points to GDP (gross domestic product) growth.

Changes in inventories, household spending and government expenditure each contributed 0.1 percentage point.

However, while exports rose by 0.6 percent, imports also increased by 1.1 percent during the quarter, meaning the net impact of foreign trade on GDP was 0.2 percentage points.

Net trade was also negative in the first quarter of 2018, but positive in the final two quarters of 2017.

Among euro zone countries, growth was strongest in Malta, Estonia and Slovakia, at 1.9, 1.4 and 1.1 percent respectively, and weakest in France, Greece and Italy, all at 0.2 percent.

The German economy expanded by 0.5 percent during the quarter. There were no figures for Ireland and Luxembourg.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop

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