Eurozone's engines for growth wheeze back to life

The eurozone has exited recession after its economy grew 0.3% in the second quarter. Photo: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

The two traditional "engines for growth" in the eurozone are wheezing back to life and dragging the whole area with them.

Germany's economy grew by 0.7% in the second three months of this year and France's by 0.5%, ending a shallow recession.

The combined euro area returned to growth after seven long quarters of contraction - but only just. It grew by 0.3%, fractionally better than economists had forecast.

To continue the railway analogy, the eurozone is on the right track but is hardly at full steam - and it faces an uncertain route.

Germany's economy grew by 0.7% in the second three months of this year and France's by 0.5%. Credit: Oliver Berg/DPA/Press Association Images

Spain, Greece and Portugal are still in a very sorry state and growth, while welcome, looks to be very weak for another couple of years.

However, headlines of recovery - no matter how slow - are good news for us in the UK.

Our own economy has been buffeted by the recession in the eurozone as British companies found continental orders for their exports dried up.

Recent data on this side of the channel supports the idea that those customers are slowly buying again.

Brakes off ...