The euro zone economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter mainly because of faster growth in Italy and Greece. As David Pollard reports, economic data also showed German exports and imports at record highs and Spanish house prices rising fast.
It's been a week of soul-searching for the European Union. How to deal with an apparently out-of-control migrants' crisis one question. Can Europe afford to let more in, another. The second at least may be a bit easier to answer after a lively set of new data. Second-quarter growth has been revised up - both for the quarter and the year as a whole. The quarter also saw Spanish house prices rise at their fastest in nearly eight years. And: German imports and exports in July hit their highest level since records began nearly a quarter of a century ago. They're also surprisingly resilient - at least for now. IHS Global Insight's Jan Randolf. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK, JAN RANDOLPH, SAYING: ''It shows that the concern German exports might have had with the slowdown in China, what concern there is there, the slack's been taken up by European demand as well as American demand and that's good news for the European economy.'' Though there's still little froth in its economy, much of the growth uptick was thanks to a stronger-than-expected Italy. Even Greece put in a better performance - GDP there at 0.9 per cent in Q2. But France: it confirmed no growth - despite the efforts of its prime minister, Manuel Valls. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK, JAN RANDOLPH, SAYING: ''The reform front is getting more interesting. Valls is trying to introduce more reforms. We'll probably see some benefit further down the year, but yes it is the laggard, unfortunately.'' But a positive bill of health overall, say economists. Even if many warn that the toll China could yet have on Europe's economy is another big question it still faces.