Brussels, Belgium (4E) – The euro zone economy expanded at a less-than-projected pace in the first quarter, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in the common currency bloc climbed just 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, unchanged from the fourth quarter, according to a report by Eurostat. Economists had projected the figure to double to 0.4 percent.
The economy grew at a faster rate of 0.9 percent on an annual basis after climbing 0.5 percent. The rate is still weaker compared with analysts’ average estimate of 1.1 percent.
In a separate report by Eurostat, inflation rate in April was 0.7 percent. It climbed from a 52-month low of 0.5 percent in March. Monthly inflation stood at 0.2 percent.
For the 15th straight month, the inflation rate is still below the target of the European Central Bank, which prefers the rate to be below but close to 2 percent.