Growth in the past quarter was 12.7%, compared to the second quarter. Economists had expected an average increase of 9.6%. The European Union as a whole grew 12.1%. Statistics bureau Eurostat announced these figures on Friday morning.
Strongest growth ever
They are the strongest figures ever recorded, Eurostat reported, since they started measuring in 1995.
This brought the European economy back strongly after the disastrous second quarter, when the eurozone contracted by 11.8% and the EU by 11.4%.
Eurostat does warn that this is an initial estimate and that the figures can still be adjusted. Economists also expect the eurozone to be heading for a double dip, as many countries now have to take measures again to stop the spread of the virus. Germany and France announced a new lockdown this week.
Damage not yet recovered
Compared to the same quarter a year ago, the eurozone is still in the red. Then the contraction in the eurozone will be 4.3%, and in the EU 3.9%.