BRUSSELS, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Euro zone economic recoveryslowed more than expected in the third quarter, weighed down byshrinking output in France and Italy, but was kept in positiveterritory thanks to economic expansion in Germany, data showedon Thursday.
The 9.5 trillion euro zone economy grew 0.1 percent in thethree months to September from the previous quarter when it rose0.3 percent - the first expansion in 18 months, the EUstatistics office Eurostat said in its first estimate.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected growth in the 17countries sharing the euro to slow down only to 0.2 percentquarter-on-quarter.
Compared with the same period of last year, the economyshrank 0.4 percent after a 0.6 percent drop in the secondquarter. Economists had expected the third quarter decline to beonly 0.3 percent year-on-year.
There were positive signs in the southern periphery withPortugal growing 0.2 percent on the quarter after a 1.1 percentrise in the previous three months and Spain returning to a tepidgrowth of 0.1 percent -- its first positive numberquarter-on-quarter since the first quarter of 2011.
The nascent recovery is expected to get on a more solidfooting next year and the economy is to expand 1.1 percent,according to the European Commission's latest forecasts. Growthshould accelerate to 1.7 percent in 2015.
- Europe News