Eurozone’s economic growth slowed to 0.3% in Q3 of 2015, latest figures have shown.
The rate was lower than expected, and compared with a pace of 0.4% recorded in the previous quarter.
The pace of expansion in Germany, the eurozone’s largest economy, slowed, but France returned to growth.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is widely expected in December to expand its stimulus program, which aims to lift inflation and support growth.
Germany’s economy grew by 0.3% in Q3, down from 0.4% in the previous quarter.
The economy had shown “continued moderate growth”, helped by increased domestic consumption, Germany’s Federal Statistics Office said.
The French economy also grew by 0.3% in the same period, but this marked a pick-up from zero growth previously.
The French statistics agency INSEE said a rise in imports had also weighed on the country’s growth rate.
France’s economy saw an increase in household spending, and that production of goods and services picked up, the INSEE added.
“The [GDP] figure… confirms that we have left in 2015 the period of very weak growth that France had experienced since 2011,” said French Finance Minister Michel Sapin.
Among the other major eurozone economies, the growth rate in Italy slowed to 0.2%, which was worse than expected, while the Spanish economy grew by 0.8%.
Portugal’s economy recorded zero growth despite having expanded by 0.5% in the second quarter. Greece’s economy contracted by 0.5%, while Finland’s shrank by 0.6%.
The Eurostat figures showed the eurozone’s economy grew by 1.6% in Q3 compared with a year earlier.
Expectations are growing that the ECB will expand its monetary stimulus program at its meeting next month.
In October, the ECB said it would “re-examine” the policy, and on November 12, ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank was ready to extend its policy if needed.
In January 2015, the ECB started a quantitative easing (QE) stimulus program worth at least €1.1 trillion in an attempt to avoid deflation and boost growth in the eurozone.
The bank has committed to buy €60 billion of bonds a month until September 2016.
The most recent figures showed inflation in the eurozone returned to zero in October from September’s -0.1%.