By Jonathan Davies

The German economy slowed more than expected in the first quarter of the year, according to official figures.

The German statistics agency said the economy grew by just 0.3% in the first three months of 2015. That compares with growth of 0.7% in the previous quarter and expectations of 0.5%.

Germany saw exports fall, which restricted the positive impacts of growing private consumption and use of industrial equipment.

The German Federal Statistics Office also said that inflation was up to 0.5% in April, from 0.3% in March. The European Central Bank's inflation target for the eurozone, like the UK, is 2%.

Meanwhile, France saw its strongest economic growth since the second quarter of 2013. It grew by 0.7% in the first three months of the year. Figures show that consumer spending was up 1.6%, boosted by weak oil prices and a low euro.