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Step aside, here come Europe's hot economies: Spain and Ireland

[LONDON] Which are the two fastest growing economies in the eurozone?

Not the big beasts in the core, but the once-struggling peripheral economies of Spain and Ireland.

Spain reported on Thursday that its economy grew 1 per cent between the first and second quarters of the year and is running at an annual clip of 3.1 per cent.

Ireland, meanwhile, issued a delayed report on its first quarter. It showed a 1.4 per cent month-on-month growth for a stunning 6.5 per cent annual rate, a pace more associated with an emerging market economy.

By contrast, overall annual eurozone growth is 1.0 per cent, with Germany slightly ahead at 1.1 per cent.

Spain and Ireland have suffered badly over the past few years as their banks have creaked under the weight of lending into now-burst housing bubbles.

Ireland was bailed out by the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Spain's banks were also aided by EU money.