The euro zone economy grew by 0.3 percent in the last three months of 2015, meeting expectations, official statistics show.
Data from Eurostat showed that, year on year, the gross domestic product (GDP) for the 19 countries that use the euro grew a respectable 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Although that was still lower than the 1.8 percent seen in the same period by the broader 28-country European Union.
Greece and Finland were the only countries in the single currency area that reported a contraction in GDP in the fourth quarter, of 0.6 percent and 0.1 percent respectively.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit which compiles purchasing manager's index (PMI) surveys for the region, said the data confirmed "steady but disappointingly unspectacular growth achieved by the euro zone."
"The coming year also looks challenging. January PMI survey data have already indicated a limp start to 2016, registering one of the weakest expansions seen over the past year. Although there are signs of renewed life in the region, linked in part to the weak euro helping spur exports, the migrant crisis, political uncertainty, high unemployment and sluggish global demand all pose downside risks to the outlook," he said in a note Friday.
Howard Archer, the chief U.K. and European economist at IHS, said the analysis firm had been expecting GDP growth in the region to improve to 1.7 percent in 2016, "but this is currently looking ever more questionable and may well need to be revised down."
Earlier on Friday, preliminary growth data from the euro zone's largest economy and powerhouse, Germany, showed the economy is limping along with a lackluster expansion seen in the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, German GDP rose 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, in line with expectations. Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.3 percent, Germany's statistics office Destatis said on Friday. The statistics body also confirmed growth of 1.7 percent in 2015.
Destatis noted that "positive contributions were made by domestic demand again" although it noted a decline in exports had put a dampener on growth.