Euro zone growth remained robust in the second quarter after a strong reading in the first three months of the year, preliminary estimates released by the European Union's statistics agency showed.

Eurostat said gross domestic product (GDP) in the 19-country currency bloc increased 0.6% in the second quarter and 2.1% on the year, in line with forecasts of economists polled by Reuters.

The EU statistics office revised slightly down the quarterly growth figure for the first quarter to 0.5% from the previously estimated 0.6%.

In annualised terms, the euro zone economy expanded 2.3% in the second quarter after a 2% rise in the first three months of the year, Eurostat said.

Updated estimates of euro zone GDP growth in the second quarter will be released by Eurostat on 16 August and final data will come on 7 September.

The acceleration in output growth confirms the sound recovery of the euro zone after data released yesterday showed the bloc recorded in June its lowest unemployment rate since 2009.

The healthier state of the bloc's economy support European Central Bank's plans to begin a tightening of monetary policy in autumn, although headline inflation remained stable at 1.3% in July, below the ECB target of below but close to 2%.