Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Euro-Area Growth Boosted by Consumption as Trade Damps Output

  • Eurostat confirms third-quarter economic expansion of 0.3%
  • ECB set to decide on future of bond-buying program on Dec. 8

Private and government consumption drove euro-area growth in the third quarter, with trade damping economic output.

Gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent in the three months through September, the European Union’s statistics office said on Tuesday. That matches earlier estimates and the rate of expansion in the previous quarter.

The European Central Bank’s Governing Council will discuss on Thursday whether to extend a 1.7 trillion-euro ($1.8 trillion) quantitative-easing program past its provisional end date of March. The ECB’s task of sustaining growth to boost inflation was complicated by Italy’s rejection of a constitutional reform plan in a referendum on Sunday, sinking the country into political limbo after the defeat prompted Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign.

Before the vote, ECB President Mario Draghi renewed his call for structural adjustments in a speech in Madrid last week, arguing that monetary policy is providing “support and space” for change.

Household consumption increased 0.3 percent in the three months through September, according to the report. Growth in government expenditure accelerated to 0.5 percent, while an expansion in gross fixed capital formation slowed to 0.2 percent. Growth was driven entirely by domestic demand, with net trade subtracting 0.1 point.