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Euro zone growth revised back to 12-month high of 0.6 pct

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The euro zone economy grew by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the highest rate for 12 months, supported by household spending and private sector investment, data from the European statistics agency Eurostat showed on Tuesday.

In a second revision of its figures, Eurostat said that gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.6 percent from the previous quarter and by 1.7 percent year-on-year.

That compared with its initial "preliminary flash" figures of 0.6 and 1.6 percent on April 29 and subsequent downward cut in its flash estimate to 0.5 and 1.5 percent on May 5.

The rate of growth matched the level in the first quarter of 2015, a pace only surpassed at the start of 2011, when the euro zone economy raced ahead at 0.9 percent.

The greatest contributions to overall euro zone GDP were household spending and private sector investment. Inventory changes and public sector spending were also positive, but imports increased by more than exports.

Quarter-on-quarter growth was at a healthy 0.7 percent in Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, 0.6 percent in France and 0.3 percent in Italy.

The only euro zone nation suffering contraction was Greece, whose economy shrank by 0.5 percent. There were no figures provided for Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta.

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