Euro zone GDP grows less than expected 0.3 pct in Q2

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The euro zone economy grew by less than expected in the second quarter, the European Union's statistics office said in its first estimate published on Friday.

Eurostat said gross domestic product in the 19-country euro area grew by 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the April-June period for a 1.2 per cent year-on-year rise.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4 per cent quarterly expansion and a 1.3 per cent annual gain.

The first reading of second-quarter GDP in the euro zone comes two days after data showed that industrial output shrank by more than expected in June.

Earlier on Friday, the German economy, the currency bloc's largest, was shown to have grown by 0.4 per cent quarter on quarter, an improvement from the first quarter but still below expectations.

Data from neighbouring France also missed expectations, as GDP growth there stalled in second quarter.

Italian GDP growth also missed forecasts.