Economists hope second quarter growth in German and France will spur on the rest of the euro zone nations.
Economic growth has accelerated in the two largest euro zone countries, France and Germany, during the second quarter of 2004. In Germany, gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2004, the Berlin's Federal Statistics Office announced Thursday. France recorded a growth of 0.8 percent during the second quarter of 2004, according to official figures also published on Thursday by Insee, the French national statistics office. The new figures raise some hopes that the two economic heavyweights will drive growth across the 12-nation euro zone. Germany is still suffering from the euro region's second-highest unemployment rate and exports are the main reason for recent growth. In France, the government has encouraged people to spend more in order to promote growth. ( EUobserver.com)