Coronavirus: Eurozone economy grows 2% in second quarter

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Coronavirus: Eurozone economy grows 2% in second quarter

People walk in the Arenas de Barcelona shopping mall during the coronavirus-encumbrance outbreak in Barcelona.

The eurozone economy grew 2% in the second quarter, the European Union Statistics Office said on Tuesday, strengthening its earlier reading as the easing of coronavirus restrictions encouraged economic activity after a short recession.

In a separate release, Eurostat said that employment in the 19 - nation bloc increased in April and June compared to the previous quarter, in line with forecasts of economists polled by Reuters.

The healthy 2% increase in gross domestic product compared to the previous quarter was paired with a 13.6% rise from last year, when the Euro zone economy suffered the worst phase of the pandemic.

The annual GDP reading was slightly revised downwards from Eurostat's earlier estimate of a 13.7% growth which was released at the end of July.

The quarter-on-quarter growth followed two quarters of GDP decline with the eurozone economy shrinking in the last quarter of 2020 by 0.3% and in the January-March period by 0.6%.

The growth of GDP fuelled a rise in the employment rates during the April-June period with the indicator increasing 0.5% on the quarter and 1.8% on the year. The annual growth exceeded forecasts for a 1.5% rebound after a series of drops.

Despite the robust rebound in the second quarter, the Eurozone economy remains some 3% smaller than it was at the end of 2019, unlike the U.S. and Chinese economies which pulled above pre-pandemic peaks.

Among the largest economies in the Eurozone, Spain and Italy posted the largest GDP rises, each growing by 2.8% and 2.7% this quarter, Eurostat data showed confirming its previous reading.

Italy, which was among the worst hit countries in the euro zone last year, grew also in the first quarter of 2021 when the bloc's GDP fell.

Germany and France continued to earn moderate GDP gains, respectively of 1.5% and 0.9% in the quarter.