Euro zone GDP grew by 0.6 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter and by 2.2 percent compared to the same period last year. The data will increase pressure on the ECB to slow its massive stimulus programme. Sarah Charlton reports
The temperatures have been above average - so it seems has growth in the economy. Latest GDP figures for the euro zone give Spain top marks. And it's tourism industry isn't the only sector thriving in a bloc beginning to see a stable and steady recovery. New EU GDP figures show all 19 countries sharing the euro expanded more than previously forecast. Annually growth was 2.2 percent, in the second quarter it was 0.6 percent. (SOUNDBITE) PETER DIXON, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, SAYING: "The eurozone economy obviously on the surface at least looks good. But obviously there are significant disparities across the regions with the likes of Italy, I think, increasingly looking like a problem." The heat then, not the only issue for Italy. It managed to maintain growth at 0.4 percent growth thanks to healthy domestic demand offseting a negative contribution from trade. But reform is necessary. (SOUNDBITE) PETER DIXON, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, SAYING: "It hasn't grown effectively for nearly 20 years since it joined the single currency region back in 1999. You know the economy is broadly flatlined. And what that means I think is that we're clearly means that the economy which used to rely on currency devaluations to you know to promote growth no longer was able to do so." Even with the Italian problem - and a not so hot France - many are now thinking the ECB will start dampening down its massive stimulus programme soon. Early 2018 is favoured by many. (SOUNDBITE) PETER DIXON, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, SAYING: "I think if you just look at the degree of stimulus which has been pumped then I think it's fair to say that we can probably live with a little bit less." Germany certainly can. It's been criticizing the ECB's policy for years. And an overheating German economy is something many want to avoid.