Consumers Keep Ex-Communist EU Growing as Euro-Area Demand Fades

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Consumers Keep Ex-Communist EU Growing as Euro-Area Demand FadesConsumers emboldened by rising wages and government spending helped propel the European Union’s ex-communist economies to unexpectedly strong growth at the start of the year. The bloc’s eastern wing showed resilience to global trade tensions and manufacturing weakness in Germany, the key market for its exports. “Given the recent skepticism about the euro-area economic outlook, the GDP figures in our region are a positive surprise,” said Jakub Seidler, chief economist at ING Group NV’s Czech unit.

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