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Step aside, here come Europe's hot economies: Spain and Ireland

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Which are the two fastest growing economies in the euro zone?

Not the big beasts in the core, but the once-struggling peripheral economies of Spain and Ireland.

Spain reported on Thursday that its economy grew 1 percent between the first and second quarters of the year and is running at an annual clip of 3.1 percent.

Ireland, meanwhile, issued a delayed report on its first quarter. It showed a 1.4 percent month-on-month growth for a stunning 6.5 percent annual rate, a pace more associated with an emerging market economy.

By contrast, overall annual euro zone growth is 1.0 percent, with Germany slightly ahead at 1.1 percent.

Spain and Ireland have suffered badly over the past few years as their banks have creaked under the weight of lending into now-burst housing bubbles.

Ireland was bailed out by the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Spain's banks were also aided by EU money.

(Reporting by Jeremy Gaunt; Editing by Kevin Liffey)