The euro zone economy grew by 0.4% in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous three-month-period, the European statistics agency said today.

Today's figures confirmed Eurostat's earlier estimate of a slowdown of the bloc's output. 

Reduced trade contributed to the slower pace of the expansion, which was propped up by increased consumption and investments, Eurostat data show. 

Eurostat also confirmed that the economy of the 19 countries sharing the euro zone grew by 2.5% year-on-year, in line with market expectations. 

The growth pace decelerated from a quarterly 0.7% and a yearly 2.8% in the last quarter of 2017. 

Euro zone exports fell by 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and imports dropped by 0.1%, in a new sign of slower global trade.

Meanwhile, household consumption rose by 0.5% in the currency bloc. Gross fixed capital formation, a measure for investments, also grew by 0.5% in the first quarter. 

The euro zone expanded less than the United States, which recorded a 0.5% quarterly growth in the first three months of the year, a slower rate than the 0.7% expansion in the previous quarter.