European economic growth outpaced the US and Japan in the second quarter, driven by Germany's best performance since reunification, European Union data showed today.

The economy in the euro zone grew by 1% between April and June, compared to quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.4% in the US and 0.1% in Japan, the Eurostat data agency said.

Europe was pulled up by Germany's best quarterly performance since reunification in 1990, with growth of 2.2%, according to the Eurostat figures, which confirmed a previous estimate.

The economy of the 27-nation EU, which includes non-euro members Britain and Poland, also grew by 1% in the second quarter. This compares to growth of 0.3% in the first quarter.

Greece was the only nation stuck in recession with an economic contraction of 1.5%, as the country battles to overcome a public deficit and debt crisis with severe spending cuts.

On an annual comparison with the second quarter of 2009, the euro zone economy grew by 1.9% in both the euro zone and the wider EU.