Growth in the eurozone economy doubled to 0.6% in the first quarter of the year, beating market forecasts.

Analysts had predicted growth of 0.4% for the bloc of 19 countries, and lifts from 0.3% in the final quarter of 2015.

Additional figures from the eurozone's official statistics agency, Eurostat, showed that the bloc fell back into deflation in April, with inflation falling from zero to 0.2%. Excluding an 8.6% annual decline in energy prices, and a 1.2% rise in unprocessed food prices, core inflation rise 0.8%, down from 1% in March.

The growth seen in the first quarter means that the eurozone economy is now larger than it was before the financial crisis.

Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "Global economic uncertainties and problems are still a handicap for eurozone growth not only through limiting exports but also through weighing down on business and consumer confidence.

"The risk of recurrent terrorist attacks and the possibility of the UK voting to leave the EU in June's referendum are also uncertainties that could impact on eurozone growth."