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Europe Inc expected fourth quarter profit growth continues to shrink

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

LONDON (Reuters) - European companies are seen reporting a smaller growth in earnings in the fourth quarter than previously expected but are still set to end a nine month long corporate recession, according to data released on Tuesday.

Companies listed on the pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> are seen reporting a 1.3% year-on-year rise in earnings per share, according to the latest data from I/B/E/S Refinitiv.

This still constitutes an improvement for a region that has suffered three straight quarters of declining profits.

The anticipated growth rate has however come down in recent weeks, shrinking from a high of 5.5% in early November to 2% last week.

(Julien Ponthus, edited by Dhara Ranasinghe)