Eurozone economies grow at fastest rate since 2007 crisis

New figures are in stark contrast to UK growth forecasts

The Eurozone has enjoyed a remarkable recovery since the dark days of the Greek debt crisis and recession
(Image credit: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images)

Eurozone economies grew at their fastest rate for a decade last year, contrasting sharply with UK economic growth since the Brexit vote.

Official figures for 2017 from Eurostat show the GDP of the single currency area expanded by 2.5% last year, its highest rate since 2007 and the start of the financial crisis.

After years of economic stagnation and rolling crises, “the eurozone is in the midst of a broad cyclical expansion, fuelled by recovering confidence and monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank” and buoyed by a resurgent global economy, says The Independent.

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Despite uncertainty surrounding the impact of the ongoing Brexit negotiations with the UK, said Balraj Sroya of Foenix Partners, the strong GDP and other economic indicators show the eurozone has put the recession and Greek debt crisis behind it “and is looking stronger and more stable than ever”.

The figures contrast starkly with the recent performance of the UK economy and growth forecasts for the next few years post-Brexit.

The UK economy is estimated to have grown by 1.8% in 2017, down from 2016’s 1.9% rate and its weakest expansion since 2012. Last week the International Monetary Fund downgraded its outlook for UK growth for 2019 to 1.5%, compared to 2.2% for the eurozone.

The latest growth figures came as the fallout continued from the leaked assessment reports detailing the impact of Brexit on the UK economy.

First published by Buzzfeed, the secret report which concludes all three likely Brexit options would leave Britain poorer makes grim reading for Brexiters and has led Labour to accuse the Government of a “cover-up” in an attempt to hide the economic severity of leaving the EU.

Defending the decision not to release the findings to MPs or the public, ministers said the report must remain secret to avoid harming the “national interest”.

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