The euro zone economy grew at a robust pace in the three months to June, driven mostly by higher domestic demand and investment, official data released today confirmed. 

The European statistics office Eurostat said the euro zone's expansion picked up speed in the second quarter, with the economy growing 0.6% compared with the previous three months. 

That was in line with previous estimates and market expectations and up from a 0.5% rise in the three months from January to March. 

The acceleration was driven by growing consumer spending and investment, with the economy shrugging off slower export growth as a result of the strong euro. 

Household consumption went up by 0.5% in the second quarter from 0.4% in the first three months of the year, and imports more than doubled their growth rate to 0.9% from 0.4%. 

Government expenditure also accelerated to 0.5% from 0.2%. 

Higher consumer confidence and demand drove up investment, which expanded by 0.9% after a 0.3% contraction in the previous quarter. 

Hit by the stronger euro, which is up around 13% against the dollar this year, exports slowed their growth to 1.1% from 1.3% in the previous quarter. 

Eurostat also revised upwards the data on euro zone growth on a yearly basis. 

Its gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2.3% in the second quarter and by 2% in the first three months of the year, higher than previous estimates of 2.2% and 1.9% respectively. 

The yearly figure for the second quarter was also higher than the average forecast of economists polled by Reuters who had expected a 2.2% rise on the year.