It is the highest growth rate in a year. Among countries for which data is already available, France and Spain expanded more than expected by 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent respectively. Lithuania advanced 0.8 percent while Belgium grew 0.2 percent. Germany, the biggest economy, is expected to release preliminary estimates for GDP in two weeks.
Year-on-year, the Euro Area economy expanded 1.6 percent, the same as in the previous three quarters and better than a 1.4 percent growth markets were expecting. The European Central Bank estimates a 1.4 percent growth for 2016.
Considering the European Union, the GDP expanded at a faster 0.5 percent over the previous quarter (0.4 percent in the last three months of 2015) but slowed on a yearly basis (1.7 percent compared to 1.8 percent in the last three months of 2015).