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Euro zone economic growth slows year on year in fourth quarter, employment up

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone economy slowed as expected year-on-year in the last three months of 2018 as growth in Germany came to a halt and Italy slipped into recession, official data showed on Thursday confirming earlier estimates.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency rose 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter for a 1.2 percent year-on-year increase, slowing from 1.6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter.

The figures, which are still subject to possible revision, were in line with market expectations and with Eurostat’s earlier preliminary estimate.

Eurostat also said employment in the euro zone rose 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the last three months of 2018 and was 1.2 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier.

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