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The eurozone is officially back in recession

Road Spain 11152012
Getty Images / Jasper Juinen
A long road ahead
By Stephanie Gruner Buckley
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The eurozone fell back into recession today for the second time since 2009. GDP for the 17-country bloc contracted by 0.1% in the latest quarter, following a 0.2% decline in the previous quarter, according to numbers from Eurostat. The news was generally expected, as euro zone countries struggle to slash spending to get debt in check.

The German and French economies each grew by 0.2%, on the back of foreign demand and increasing production of goods and services, respectively. Other countries performed far worse. Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Italy all contracted by 0.2% or more in the quarter. On Monday, Greece reported that the economy contracted by 7.2% in the third quarter, compared to the same period a year ago. Eurostat didn’t have figures.

Check out this map by the Guardian, which breaks down numbers by country.

By comparison the UK grew by 1% this quarter compared to last, while the US grew by 0.5%, and Japan’s GDP fell by 0.9%. The European Union as a whole (27 countries) grew by 0.2% in the quarter, after contracting 0.2% in the previous quarter.

Economists say the situation will only get worse before it gets better. The Europeans who took to the streets yesterday to protest that austerity measures are not working may have a point.

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