Eurozone economic growth revised down for end of 2016

GETTYGermany's economy is falling short of expectations

The mood among German investors deteriorated more than expected in February, a survey showed on Tuesday, as uncertainties about the outcome of Brexit talks and future USA trade policies cloud the growth outlook for Europe's biggest economy.

FRANKFURT-Economic growth in the eurozone was weaker than previously reported in the fourth quarter but the underlying growth momentum remained robust as the bloc prepares to face numerous political uncertainties.

Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2016, thanks to high consumer sentiment and a boom in the construction sector, official data showed on Tuesday.

By comparison Britain's GDP jumped by 0.6 per cent in the last three months of 2016, defying predictions that the Brexit vote would hit the economy.

Year-on-year growth slowed to 1.7% from 1.8% in the third quarter.

Economic growth in Germany and Italy was significantly lower at the end of 2016 than forecasts predicted after a year in which the continent witnessed rising populism, Brexit and terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people.

The new figures may strengthen the hand of those European Central Bank board members who are reluctant to reverse in the medium term its very accommodating monetary policy, despite a pick-up in prices.

"The economic performance in the fourth quarter of 2016 was achieved by 43.7 million persons in employment, which was an increase of 267,000 year-on-year", Destatis said in the report. It was 1.6 percent lower than in November, the steepest fall in more than four years.

For 2017, the German government expects weaker growth of 1.4 percent due to fewer work days and weaker exports. It recorded a 2.9 percent rise, in a sign of managers' confidence that consumers will spend more on durable goods.

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