Eurozone economic growth revised down for end of 2016

Men work at the assembly line in the truck production plant of truck and bus-maker MAN AG in Munich, Germany July 30, 2015.

The Federal Statistics Office said Tuesday that gross domestic product rose by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the previous three-month period.

FRANKFURT-Economic growth in the eurozone was weaker than previously reported in the fourth quarter but the underlying growth momentum remained robust as the bloc prepares to face numerous political uncertainties. There was also a quarterly contraction for Greece and Finland which will maintain concerns surrounding underlying structural vulnerability within the Euro-zone.

Germany's consumption-driven upswing is expected to continue in 2017, although a strong rebound in inflation means consumers will have less money to spend than in the previous years.

On a year-on-year basis, growth for the 19 countries using the euro slowed to 1.7 percent from the 1.8 percent recorded in the third quarter.

This was due at least in part to a drop in Euro-Zone industrial output in December of 1.6% month/month - its sharpest fall since September 2012 - rather than the 1.5% predicted by forecasters.

The Eurozone economy grew less than initially estimated in the fourth quarter, according to the latest data from Eurostat.

This was the highest annual inflation rate since July 2013.

In economic forecasts released on Monday, the European Commission said risks to growth this year included potential trade disruption under U.S. President Donald Trump, who has argued for more protectionist policies.

But economists caution that uncertainties about future trade relations with the United Kingdom and the USA and a risk of rising anti EU-sentiment ahead of key elections in Germany, France and the Netherlands could weigh on consumer spending and corporate investment.

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