May 26, 2013
Euro zone economy falls deeper into recession
It marked the currency bloc's first full year in which no quarter produced growth, extending back to 1995.
Economic output in the 17-country region fell by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said today, following a 0.1 percent drop in output in the third quarter.
The drop was the steepest since the first quarter of 2009 and more severe than the average forecast of a 0.4 percent drop in a Reuters poll of 61 economists.
For the year as a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.5 percent.
The big economies set the tone. Germany contracted by 0.6 percent on the quarter, official data showed, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis was raging in 2009.
France's 0.3 percent fall was also slightly worse than expectations.
Worryingly for Berlin, it was export performance - the motor of its economy - that did most of the damage although economists expect it to bounce back quickly.
"In the final quarter of 2012 exports of goods declined significantly more than imports of goods," the German Statistics Office said in a statement.