FRANCE, GREECE HELP LIFT EUROZONE GROWTH

BRUSSELS (AP) — A surprisingly solid performance by France and the end of the brutal recession in Greece helped the 18-country eurozone grow by more than anticipated in the third quarter of the year.

Official figures Friday from Eurostat show the eurozone grew by 0.2 percent in the July to September period from the previous quarter. That’s higher than the 0.1 percent tick recorded in the second quarter, which most in the markets expected to be repeated.

Much of the growth was due to France expanding 0.3 percent. Many had voiced fears that France, Europe’s second-biggest economy, could sink back into recession after contracting modestly in the second quarter.

The report also shows Greece’s years-long recession is over. Previously unpublished quarterly figures show growth actually resumed in the first quarter of the year.

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