BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, data showed on Tuesday, mainly because of faster growth in Italy and Greece.
The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the April-June period for a 1.5 percent year-on-year rise.
This is a revision of the previously reported figures of a 0.3 percent quarterly rise and a 1.2 percent year-on-year gain.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the initial figures released by Eurostat would remain unchanged.
Euro zone figures were revised also for the first quarter — growth was 0.5 percent on a quarterly basis, instead of the 0.4 percent reported previously. Year-on-year, the first quarter was revised up to 1.2 percent from 1.0 percent .
The revision is mainly driven by better-than-expected data in Italy, the third biggest economy of the euro zone.
Although still expanding at a lower rate than the euro zone average, Italy’s economy grew in the April-June period 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter and 0.7 percent compared to the same period of last year.
Eurostat had previously estimated for Italy a quarterly growth of 0.2 percent and a year-on-year gain of 0.5 percent.
The other major economies of the euro zone confirmed past estimates, with Germany growing 0.4 percent on a quarterly basis, and 1.6 percent yearly.
France confirmed no growth in the second quarter and a 1 percent gain compared to last year.
Eurostat revised upwards also figures on Greece’s economy, which is now seen to have grown 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter rather than 0.8 percent, as previously estimated.
The Greek economy slightly expanded also in the first quarter of the year by 0.1 percent, an upward revision from the no-growth scenario previously estimated by Eurostat.
In the second quarter, the Greek economy has grown 1.6 percent yearly instead of the previous estimates of 1.4 percent.
The growth in the euro zone economy has been helped mainly by a large positive net contribution from trade and household consumption as well as some government spending, despite a fall in investment and inventories.
Reporting By Francesco Guarascio and Jan Strupczewski