The euro zone economy grew at its slowest pace in four years in the third quarter of 2018, while employment growth also eased during the period, data released by the European Union statistics agency showed.

Today's figures confirmed earlier estimates from Eurostat. 

Euro zone gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.2% in the three months from July to September, Eurostat said, confirming its earlier preliminary estimates. 

This was the slowest rate of economic growth since the second quarter of 2014 and a marked slowdown from 0.4% growth in the second quarter. 

On the year, the GDP growth rate in the 19-country currency bloc was 1.6%, Eurostat said, revising down its earlier estimate of a 1.7% expansion. 

The economy of Germany, the euro zone's largest, contracted by 0.2% on the quarter, France's was 0.4% stronger, while Italy's GDP shrunk by 0.1%. 

In a separate release today, Eurostat confirmed its previous estimates on employment growth in the euro zone. 

The number of people employed in the euro zone increased by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter and by 1.3% year-on-year.

This compared with rates of 0.4% and 1.5% respectively in the second quarter of 2018.