FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European economy grew by an unexpectedly large 12.7% in the third quarter as companies reopened after severe coronavirus lockdowns, but the rebound is being overshadowed by worries that growing numbers of infections will cause a new downturn in the final months of the year.
The upturn in the July-September quarter — and the worries about what’s ahead — echoed the situation in the United States, where re-openings led to strong third-quarter recovery but didn’t dispel fears for the winter months.
The European rebound, reflected in figures released Friday by EU statistics agency Eurostat, was the largest increase since statistics started being kept in 1995. It followed an 11.8% contraction in the second quarter in the 19 European Union member countries that use the euro currency. The April-June period was when restrictions on activities and gatherings were most severe during the first wave of the pandemic. Many economists had expected a rebound of around 10%.
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