GDP slows as Eurozone economy loses steam

Photo credit:   Christine â„¢

Eurozone GDP rose just 0.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2015, according to new figures released today. The Eurostat data reveals that a number of nations are underperforming, as the eurozone economy appears to lose steam in its third quarter.

Finland is now the weakest of the countries in the eurozone, its economy contracting 0.6 per cent in the three months to September 2015. Greece, previously singled out as the troublesome member of the bloc, actually fared better than Finland, shrinking 0.5 per cent as the country readjusts once more to a new wave of financial measures to shore up its leaking ship.

But the figures paint a downbeat picture of the continent at large, with Italy growing just 0.2 per cent, Portugal remaining flat and the Netherlands also underperforming with a 0.1 per cent shift upwards.

Portugal may be cause for concern for ministers in Brussels, as the country’s new anti-austerity government aims to reverse cuts, but the cycle of cutting and shrinking has proven hard to shake off for many nations. Germany’s GDP rose 0.3 per cent, slowing from 0.4 per cent in the previous quarter, as international trade conditions weigh upon the country.

France and Spain, though, both emerged as positive beacons in the haze: the French economy moved from 0 per cent to 0.3 per cent growth, while Spain grew 0.8 per cent.

Overall, the figures mark the second quarter-on-quarter decline in a row for the eurozone (down from 0.4 per cent in Q2 2015 and 0.5 per cent in Q1 2015). The trend has sparked speculation that the European Central Bank will extend its quantitative easing and perhaps cut the record low interest rates to even lower records to stimulate activity. Falling oil prices and China’s slowing economy, meanwhile, will continue to provide global headwinds.

Nonetheless, for every factor holding back the euro from gaining in strength, property markets have been feeling the benefit of the weak single currency, as exchange rates with the pound and dollar boost spending power for overseas buyers and encourage sales – a crucial factor in Spain’s, France’s and even Portugal’s housing market recoveries. Berlin, meanwhile, has also become more attractive to investors from the Middle East, thanks to the weak euro, according to IP Global. With the eurozone economy officially losing steam, will the continent’s most popular real estate destinations start to shrink or keep on growing?