Aug 14 2013
The eurozone has finally emerged from its prolonged recession as figures show it grew by 0.3% in the second quarter - the first time that output in the single currency bloc has increased since late 2011.
The end of the recession, which lasted for six straight quarters, may mark a key moment for economies throughout the world as they seek to emerge from downturns.
In Britain, the fragile recovery has been dogged by fears over the impact of turbulence in the eurozone, its biggest trading partner.
The 0.3% growth across the 17 countries of the single currency area compared with the last quarter, announced by the European Union's Eurostat office, was slightly ahead of expectations of 0.2%.
It was largely driven by Germany, Europe's biggest economy, gaining steam with a 0.7% increase in output after a flat start to the year.
Meanwhile, France is officially out of recession after posting 0.5% growth and there were encouraging signs elsewhere, notably from Portugal, which grew 1.1% while there were even signs that Greece's deterioration is starting to tail off.
Figures for quarter-on-quarter growth for the country were not available but its decline compared with last year, of 4.6%, was an improvement on the 5.6% fall recorded in the last quarter.
Quarter-on-quarter declines of 0.1% and 0.2% in Spain and Italy were better than at the start of the year though they continued to be in recession.
Europe's improvement eases fears that the UK could be dragged down by international financial chaos, Britain having enjoyed two successive quarters of growth this year with the latest three-month spell seeing gross domestic product climb by 0.6% and forecasts of a similar rise in the current period.
But the Bank of England has warned that the recovery remains weak by historical standards and the potential of storms from the continent has been seen as one of the key threats to a sustained upturn.