The euro zone economy grew by 0.5% in the first quarter of the year, data from the European statistics agency Eurostat showed today, in a downward revision from its initial estimate.

Eurostat said that GDP growth was 0.5% quarter-on-quarter and 1.5% year-on-year. 

On April 29, it had reported the fastest rate of expansion for five years, with quarterly growth of 0.6% and a year-on-year figure of 1.6%. 

Of the euro zone's larger economies, German GDP increased by 0.7%, French GDP by 0.5%, while growth of 0.3% was seen in Italy and growth of 0.8% in Spain.

GDP expanded in all euro zone countries which provided data except Greece and Latvia, which contracted by 0.4% and 0.1% respectively. 

Outside the euro zone, the economies of Hungary and Poland also shrank in the first three months of the year.

Data for Ireland's first quarter is not included in today's measurement, however the country is likely to remain the fastest growing in Europe, with growth of 2.7% in the last three months of 2015.