GDP in European Union, eurozone up 0.6 percent in 2nd quarter

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A forecast expansion of 0.6 percent in the April-June period, equivalent to an annualized 2.4 percent, would be the third consecutive quarter in which the euro zone has grown at or above a half percentage point, for the first time since 2007-08.

The euro was steady just above the $1.18 level in forex markets after the data, having hit a fresh 2½-year high of $1.1845 overnight. Today's figures are based on the flash preliminary estimates from Eurostat, with a more detailed release due on August 16.

With 1.041 million unemployed, Greece had the highest jobless rate in the European Union, according to Eurostat.

The findings of the latest poll are in line with a separate Reuters survey of economists published earlier in July, which showed expectations for euro zone growth was strong and a reduction in policy accommodation was in the pipeline [ECB/INT].

He highlighted particularly solid growth in United Kingdom exports, which have been made more competitive by the pound's sharp drop after the Brexit vote and have benefitted from a strengthening global economy.

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US job creation surged by more than expected in June and is seen lower but still strong in July, a sign of labor market strength that could keep the Fed on course for a third interest rate hike this year.

Against this background, EUR/USD eased modestly after the numbers but this year's strong upward trend still shows no sign of faltering, even though momentum indicators suggest that it now overbought.

"They have to make the case for tapering and that will be based on growth giving them confidence that inflation is going to come back, and that's the story they will try to sell".

"The survey pointed to a further marked easing of price pressures in the manufacturing sector in July, which fuels hope that United Kingdom inflation is close to peaking and will go down well at the Bank of England", said Archer.

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