Italian GDP rises by 0.5% as expected - Euro looks strong

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Eurostat, the European Union statistics office, confirmed a preliminary estimate that euro zone gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.6 percent from July to September from the previous quarter and on a year on year basis was 2.5 percent higher.

Its economy expanded 0.4% quarter-on-quarter and 1.5% year-on-year.

As a effect, analysts at Julius Baer expect the U.S. economy to outperform the eurozone in 2018 with 2.5% GDP growth, after being on par this year.

Among the bloc's biggest economies, Germany did best, racing ahead at a quarterly clip of 0.8%, up from 0.6% over the prior three-month stretch, while in Italy and Portugal growth accelerated from 0.3% to 0.5%. Seasonally adjusted German GDP rose 0.8 percent on the quarter, beating a consensus forecast of 0.6 percent, which was also the second-quarter growth rate.

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During the third quarter of 2017, GDP in the United States increased by 0.7% compared with the previous quarter (after +0.8% in the second quarter of 2017).

Meanwhile, in Spain GDP growth was unchanged at 3.1% on the year - despite the political upheavals in Catalonia - and Portugal it slowed from 3.0% to 2.5%.

Separately, Eurostat said euro zone industrial production fell by 0.6% month-on-month in September as expected by markets.

Next year, eurozone growth will remain solid as well, but should decelerate slightly to 2%. This may provide some comfort after Italy was left out of the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.