Europe's economy has been flipped on its head

French President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel following their news conference during a joint Franco-German cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal HanschkeGerman GDP growth has lagged expectations, while France has grown quicker than forecast

The Eurozone recovery isn’t as strong as everyone thought – and its the fault of Germany and the UK.

New data from Eurostat this morning shows Europe’s economy grew by 0.4% in the first three months of the year, missing analysts’ forecasts of  0.5% expansion.

The GDP reading follows a slew of economic indicators that things are looking up for Europe and the European bloc is still growing faster than the UK and US for the first time since 2011

French figures out this morning were also surprisingly strong, revealing GDP grew by 0.7% in the first quarter.

But both the UK and Germany have had a weak start to the year, missing forecasts. GDP in both countries grew by a disappointing 0.3% in the first quarter. 

Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex, said: “Soft data is becoming something of a trend for Germany, normally the leader in any Eurozone data splurge. Instead, rather surprisingly, France has grown twice as fast as Germany and the UK in the first 3 months of 2015.”

Year-on-year Eurozone GDP grew by 1%, compared to analyst forecasts of 1.1% growth. 

Europe’s industrial production numbers for March were disappointing. Production fell by 0.3% compared to February, when it accelerated by a surprise 1.1%. Analysts had pencilled in flat industrial growth month-on-month.

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