Euro Zone Economic Growth Cooled In Third Quarter

Growth in Italy, France particularly slow.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Annual economic growth in the euro zone dropped by 0.2 percentage points to 2.7 percent in the third quarter of 2006, the European Union announced Thursday.

The Eurostat statistical agency said growth in the European Union as a whole remained at 3 percent of gross domestic product. Baltic states Estonia and Latvia both had annual double-digit growth, totaling 11 and 11.8 percent, respectively.

At the other end, Portugal only managed 1.5 percent. Italy and France were the only other EU nations failing to break the 2-percent barrier with 1.7 and 1.9 percent.

GDP rose by 3 percent in the United States over the same time, and by 1.7 percent in Japan.

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