The European Statistics office reported growth in the economic bloc that remained at sluggish levels. The report announced preliminary gross domestic product values, matching the prior quarter and expectations data of 0.30% for the fourth quarter, while the annualized figure denoted a decline from the previous quarter’s reading of 1.60%, meeting expectations of 1.50%. Germany released quarterly GDP data, showing expansion of 0.30%, mirroring previous quarters and expectations. On an annual basis, growth tapered to 2.10%, slightly lower when compared to the previous reading. Additionally Italy announced GDP, displaying slowing growth after slipping to a 0.10% increase from the prior 0.20% whereas the annualized figure surprisingly rose to 1.00%. The European Commission has consequently downgraded its growth forecast for the current year from 1.80% to 1.70% while the European Central Bank prepares additional stimulus to safeguard growth and boost inflation.