Economic growth is slowing in Europe despite rising employment

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
European growth is faltering. Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Economic growth more than halved across the European Union in the second quarter of the year, despite unemployment falling to an 11-year low.

GDP growth was a sluggish 0.2% across both the 28 member states of the EU and the eurozone bloc, compared to 0.5% EU growth and 0.4% eurozone growth in the first quarter.

EU experts also predicted inflation would dip to 1.1% in July in the euro area, down from 1.3% in June in their ‘flash estimate.’ Food, alcohol and tobacco were expected to show the greatest price increases.

Analysts had predicted a bleak outlook after poor economic figures from France and Germany in recent days.

READ MORE: Aston Martin ‘disaster’ losses, Lloyds PPI hit, ex-Audi chief charged - market report

The figures could heap fresh pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to lower interest rates or step in with other stimulus measures sooner to revitalise growth.

The faltering growth came in spite of a boost to employment as figures showed the proportion of citizens out of work in eurozone countries reached its lowest level since July 2008.

The unemployment rate fell 0.1% to 7.5% in June, while the wider EU rate held steady at 6.3%, according to the figures from the EU’s Eurostat data body.

It comes after figures on Tuesday showed confidence among consumers appeared to be in short supply in key European economies.

A GfK survey showed German consumer morale had dipped for a third consecutive month, with the threat of trade wars and Brexit potentially feeding into a bleak mood on high streets.