Economic expansion in the Eurozone continued at a subdued pace in the third quarter but the economy grew in line with expectations, data released on Monday (31 October) by the European Union's statistical office showed.
According to Eurostat, in the three months to the end of September, the economy in the common currency bloc grew 1.6% year-on-year, compared with a 1.6% reading in the previous three months and analysts' expectations for an unchanged reading.
On a monthly basis, GDP grew 0.3%, in line with expectations and matching the rate of expansion recorded in the previous quarter.
Both the year-on-year and quarterly figures, however, marked a slowdown from the first quarter of 2016, when the Eurozone economy expanded 0.5% on a monthly basis and 1.7% on an annual basis.
The slowdown was even more marked when compared to the last three months of 2015, when the economy in the 19-country bloc grew 2% on a year-on-year basis.
Meanwhile, the European Union as a whole performed slightly better than the Eurozone over the last three months, with GDP growing 0.4% on a quarterly basis and 1.8% from the corresponding period in 2015. Both figures matched the rate of growth recorded in the previous quarter and were in line with analysts' forecast.
While the pace of expansion met expectations, growth in the Eurozone remains largely sedate and analysts believed the latest figures were unlikely to prompt a radical change of policy by the European Central Bank (ECB).
"We doubt that this will be enough to convince the ECB to slow the pace of its asset purchases yet," said Jennifer McKeown, chief European economist at Capital Economics.
"Indeed, we still expect the Bank to announce a six-month extension of the programme at the current pace to September 2017 at its December meeting."