ITALY'S ECONOMY GROWS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2011, EUROZONE RECOVERY ACCELERATES

Italian GDP rose 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted and workday adjusted basis in the fourth quarter of 2013, marking the first expansion in the Italian economy since 2011.

The news comes on the same day that Italian prime minister Enrico Letta steps down from his post, paving the way for party ally Matteo Renzi to form a new government with the aim of speeding along structural reforms many consider to be crucial for the future of the Italian economy.

Elsewhere in the eurozone, French GDP expanded 0.3% in Q4 after remaining unchanged in Q3. German quarterly GDP growth accelerated to 0.4% from 0.3%.

On a eurozone-wide basis, quarterly GDP growth accelerated to 0.3% in Q4 from 0.1% in Q3. Economists predicted a smaller acceleration to 0.2%.

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