Morning business round-up: Eurozone growth speeds up

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The economy of the 17 countries that use the euro grew by 0.8% in the first three months of 2011, up from 0.3% in the previous quarter.

It means that the eurozone grew twice as fast as the US.

Germany was largely responsible for the better-than-expected figure, reporting growth of 1.5% in the period, figures from Eurostat showed.

The figures underlined the two-speed nature of the eurozone economy, with Portugal sliding into recession after contracting by 0.7%.


Shares in European aerospace and defence giant EADS rose after it said it expected full year revenues to be better than last year's 46bn euros (£40bn; $66bn).

Its forecast came as it reported a first quarter net loss of 12m euros, compared with 103m euros profit a year ago.

Media caption,

Biz Heads


Japan's government has approved a plan to help Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) compensate victims of the crisis at its tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Payouts are expected to run into tens of billions of dollars and could help Tepco avoid bankruptcy, but the government insisted it was not meant as a bail-out.

The government said it would issue bonds to raise the money, which is estimated to be about $60bn (£37bn).

Lloyd's of London

Insurance market Lloyd's of London has also been counting the cost of the Japanese disaster.

It estimates claims from the Japanese earthquake will cost £1.22bn, while the New Zealand earthquake and flooding in Australia are put at £750m and £406m.

The impact of the tornadoes in the US have yet to be assessed, but Lloyd's said that all the disasters would lead to insurance rates rising.

London Stock Exchange

Shares in the London Stock Exchange, which is buying Canada's TMX Group, rose after it exceeded analysts' forecasts with a 65% rise in pre-tax profits to £238.2m.

The LSE, which also owns an exchange in Italy, put the growth down to its diversification strategy.

"(There is) a range of growth opportunities which will remain pivotal to further progress in the year ahead," said chief executive Xavier Rolet.

To hear about some of the wider trends in the world of business, listen to our Business Daily podcast which looks at whether politics is holding back businesses in Zimbabwe.

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