May 15, 2019 / 9:12 AM / 11 days ago

Euro zone economy accelerates in first-quarter as Germany rebounds

FILE PHOTO: Unfinished pliers still glow after being hot-formed by a hammer at the factory of Knipex, a 130 year-old family-owned pliers and tools maker company in Wuppertal, western Germany, October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone economy accelerated quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, the EU’s statistics office confirmed on Wednesday, thanks to a rebound in the biggest economy Germany and the end of a technical recession in Italy.

Eurostat said the economy of the 19 countries sharing the euro expanded by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in the January-March period, the same as its initial estimate, after 0.2% growth in the last three months of 2018.

Year-on-year, the euro zone grew by 1.2% in the first quarter, also as previously estimated, the same rate as at the end of last year.

The quarterly acceleration was mainly thanks to Germany, which rebounded to 0.4% growth from zero growth in the previous three months.

Italy also helped as it rallied from a technical recession of two consecutive quarters, when its economy contracted each time by 0.1%. It expanded by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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