The euro area maintained its growth momentum at the start of 2017, strengthening the case of those pressuring the European Central Bank to sketch out an end to extraordinary stimulus measures.
Gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year, according to an initial estimate published by the European Union’s statistics office on Wednesday. That’s in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists and matches the pace of the previous quarter.
While policy makers have expressed different views on the sturdiness of the 19-nation economy, June seems to be emerging as the month in which the Governing Council will set the course for a gradual exit from monetary stimulus. ECB President Mario Draghi has characterized the recovery, now in its fourth year, as “solid and broad” as indicators ranging from manufacturing to employment show signs of picking up and inflation approaches the central bank’s goal.
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