Eurozone growth lagging behind

Growth in Europe almost came to a halt in the 3Q11 with a weak 0.2 percent increase, the same pace as in 2Q11, according to data released by Eurostat late on Tuesday.

GDP growth was driven by Germany, Europe's largest , which rose 0.5 percent in the third quarter due to stronger company and consumer spending, the Federal Statistics office said late on Tuesday. Year-on-year the country's GDP increased by 2.5 percent.

Europe's second biggest economy, France, expanded 0.4 percent during the same quarter.

Both Spain and Belgium came to a standstill while Portugal and the Netherlands contracted by 0.4 and 0.3 percent respectively.

Overall the 27-nation eurozone grew 0.6 percent at an annualised rate in the 3Q11, Eurostat said. Approximations for Italy, Greece and Ireland are still to follow.

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