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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Eurozone economy continues growth
Euro banknotes
Exports are leading the eurozone's growth
Growth in the 12-nation eurozone economy increased by 0.5% in the second quarter, and 2.0% on a 12-month basis, said EU statistics office Eurostat.

The annual growth figure is somewhat lower than the corresponding annualised second-quarter 3.0% rate in the US.

But analysts said the news was broadly in line with expectations, and that the economy was continuing to recover.

The data comes a day after positive growth figures from the eurozone's two giants, Germany and France.

In all 25 countries in the European Union, growth in the quarter was 0.6% ahead on first-quarter figure and 2.2% on a yearly basis.

'Positive news'

Meanwhile the European Commission held to its forecast that eurozone growth in the third quarter would be 0.3 to 0.7%, and said it expected the economy to grow by the same amount in the fourth quarter.

"The eurozone is still growing so this is positive news, but I expect growth to slow in the second half," said Trevor Williams of Lloyds TSB.

"We're not going to have the breakdown for a while, but the figures seem to suggest that predominantly this (growth) is being led by exports, and so it is vulnerable to what happens in the global economy.

"With the slowdown now underway in the global economy, it puts a question mark over how fast euro zone growth is going to be. "

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