Household demand and investment were the two biggest contributors to economic growth in the euro zone in the first quarter, data showed today.

The data confirmed the European Union's statistic office's earlier growth estimates. 

Eurostat confirmed that gross domestic product in the euro zone in the three months from January to March rose 0.4% quarter-on-quarter for a 1% year-on-year gain. The figures were in line with market expectations. 

Household consumption, long the more sluggish component of euro zone growth, now contributed the most - 0.3 percentage points to the overall quarterly result. 

Investment added a further 0.2 percentage point and growing inventories and government spending another 0.1 point each. 

But the contribution from external trade was negative as imports grew twice as fast as exports on a quarterly basis, capping overall quarterly GDP growth at 0.4%. 

The euro zone's biggest economy Germany grew 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, second biggest France expanded 0.6%, third biggest Italy 0.3% and fourth biggest Spain surged 0.9%. 

The economies of Greece, Estonia, Lithuania and Finland contracted in the first three months of the year.