US 'outperformed'

Meanwhile, growth across the United States slid back to just 0.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2010, having touched 0.9 per cent in the first three months of the year.

 "The data shows that one can indeed build more confidence in sustainable growth in Europe as opposed to the United States, which in my view will extend the outperformance of European markets over the US," Heino Ruland, strategist at Ruland Research in Frankfurt, said.

Miners rose on firmer commodity prices as the dollar slipped against the euro. Rio Tinto, Kazakhmys, and Eurasian Natural Resources added 0.9 to 1.8 per cent.

COUNTING THE COST

 

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Oil majors were also strong, with BP, Repsol and Total up 0.2 to 0.8 per cent as oil prices jumped to above $76 a barrel on a technical rebound and as the dollar fell.

In contrast to Germany, the region's so-called 'peripheral' economies, including Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal, struggled in the second quarter, as sovereign debt yields soared in the wake of the Greek bail-out.

Preliminary figures on Thursday showed Greek GDP fell 1.5 per cent in the second quarter as austerity measures continued to shrink the economy and increase unemployment.

Job market

Despite Friday's recovery reports, Sara Elder from the UN's International Labour Organisation, told Al Jazeera that there is still a significant lag in the recovery of global job markets, particularly among young people.

"In 2009, [Global] unemployment was at 13 per cent and the number of youth unemployed reached 80.7 million."

She added that 45 per cent of unemployment figures were coming from the European Union and the US, which are developed economies which are best able to cope with the problem.

According to Elder, long unemployment is not only being suffered by unskilled workers, but also by highly educated people. "The danger here is that they lose their motivation, their sense of connection to society."

"We urge the governments to continue with active labour market measures to make sure that these young people get a fair chance."