Is the European Union economy bouncing back from crisis at last?


Is the European Union economy bouncing back from crisis at last?

Data from the European Union statistics office shows the European Union economy expanded by 2.5% in 2017, its strongest performance since 2007 and the start of the financial crisis.

The bloc of 28 countries put in a strong performance in the final quarter of the year, growing 0.6%, mainly driven by good economic results from Germany, Spain and France.

The data from Eurostat showed that Europe's largest economies performed well in the final quarter of 2017.

France likewise extended by 0.6%, while Spanish development was a step more grounded at 0.7%. The figures were published by Eurostat, filling out estimates published at the end of January 2018 which were based on more limited data.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, recorded a full-year growth of 2.2 percent which translated into a calendar-adjusted 2.5 percent, the highest since 2011, according to the country's Federal Statistics Office.

GDP grew 2.5% in 2017, with economies of Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Slovakia doing particularly well.

Speaking to the BBC, Investec economist Ryan Djajasaputra attributed the strength of the Eurozone to the European Central Bank's stimulus policies, which have brought down the cost of borrowing in recent years.

Furthermore, he said certainty had been hitting record levels since the emergency years in the eurozone and joblessness was down to pre-emergency levels.

Standard Chartered chief economist Europe Sarah Hewin told the BBC, "Activity is being supported by strong global growth, which is helping European exporters". Confidence and employment levels are also recovering to pre-financial crisis levels.