Europe Edges Back to Growth Last Quarter

The euro-area economy probably edged back to growth last quarter for the first time since 2011, ending the longest recession since the single currency union started 14 years ago.

Gross domestic product in the 17-nation region expanded 0.2 percent in the three months through June after shrinking for the previous six quarters, according to the median of 21 economist forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. The European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg will release the data at 11 a.m. on Aug. 14. The German economy probably expanded about 0.75 percent, exceeding the 0.6 percent economists predict, according to a government estimate.

A year of relative calm on financial markets, budget cuts and economic reforms from Spain to Italy, and accelerating growth in the U.S., the world’s biggest economy, has helped the euro area start to recover from a downturn that pushed unemployment to a record 12.1 percent. At the same time, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has described progress as “tentative” and said further growth may depend on repairing banks’ balance-sheets to spur lending.


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