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Euro-Zone Growth Jumps More than Expected

Euro zone economic growth rebounded more strongly than previously estimated in the third quarter of 2007, revised data showed on Wednesday, thanks to higher growth in France and Belgium.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said gross domestic product in the euro zone rose 0.8 percent in the July-September period against the previous three months, higher than the previously reported 0.7 percent.

Year-on-year, GDP rose 2.7 percent in the third quarter, well above its potential growth rate which the European Commission estimates at around 2.2 percent. The yearly rate was unchanged from the previous estimate.

Economists had expected a result in line with the previous Eurostat report for the quarterly and yearly growth figures.

The better result was driven mainly by an upward revision ofquarterly growth in the euro zone's second biggest economy France, where the economy expanded by 0.8 percent rather than the previously estimated 0.7.

In Belgium, growth was revised up to 0.5 percent from a previous 0.4 percent.

Economic expansion in the 13 countries that shared the euro in the third quarter of last year was driven mainly by household consumption and investment, which added 0.3 percentage points each to the total. Growing inventories added 0.2 percent.

Government spending added another 0.1 percentage point which was offset by a negative contribution from net trade.