Economic growth across Europe's euro zone surged past retreating US levels, hitting 1% between April and June this year, the European Union said today.

Driven by Germany's posting its best quarterly growth since reunification, Europe's main stock markets bounced upwards with recovery also gathering pace in Britain and France, though Greece slipped deeper into recession.

Recent figures show that growth across the US slid back to just 0.6% in the second quarter of 2010, having touched 0.9% in the first three months of the year. Europe had barely managed 0.2% growth up to March.

Read more details on euro zone countries' growth here

The acceleration was matched across the 27 EU nations as a whole, the world's biggest market and home to half a billion people, thanks to 2.2% in Germany and Britain also rising to 1.1%.

Compared to the same time last year, European growth measured 1.7%, with only Greece among the 18 member states for which data was available stuck in recession, its contraction worsening to 1.5%.