European Union growth approaches pre-crisis levels

A worker at a cork factory in Portugal which cut its deficit sharply last year

Gross domestic product is forecast to advance 0.4% on quarter in three months to December. The annual rate also matched previous estimate.

The European Commission has said the economic expansion in the 19-nation region is now more balanced than at any time since the financial crisis, and the International Monetary Fund has raised its global outlook for 2018.

"The GDP results for the final quarter of 2017 should strengthen confidence at the European Central Bank that inflation will gradually move from 1.3 percent now to the goal of just below 2 percent", said Alexander Krueger, chief economist at Bankhaus Lampe KG in Dusseldorf.

Earlier on Wednesday, data showed the GDP of Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, grew by 0.6 per cent on the quarter and 2.9 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017.

For the whole year 2017, GDP grew 2.5%, the fastest in a decade. GDP is seen expanding 0.6%, in line with flash estimate.

On the other hand, France, Dutch and Portugal posted faster growth. France's growth improved to 0.6% on foreign demand. Growth slowed in Germany and Italy, while the pace of expansion accelerated in the Netherlands and Portugal, according to separate reports.

Senate to start DREAMer debate and anything could happen
But that measure, from the Senate's most hawkish Republicans on immigration , is unlikely to gain much, if any Democratic support. He says "they only come here with a determination to make a better life for themselves and a better country for all of us".

Citing stronger cyclical momentum in Europe and better-than-expected pick-up in global economic activity and trade, the European Union had raised its growth projection for the euro area to 2.3% in 2018 from 2.1%.

Last month, a first official estimate showed the United Kingdom economy had expanded by 0.5 per cent during the last quarter of 2017, taking growth for the year to 1.8 per cent.

At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat is slated to release euro area GDP and industrial production data.

Standard Chartered is forecasting eurozone growth of 2.2% in 2018 and 2% in 2019.

An acceleration in industrial production growth was not enough to prevent a slight slowdown in eurozone GDP growth in the fourth quarter, Stephen Brown, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

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