Euro-zone economy: Call this a recovery?

Posted: November 14, 2013 in economy
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THE euro area grew again in the third quarter, but only just. Figures released today by Eurostat show that euro-wide GDP expanded by a mere 0.1%, less than the already pessimistic 0.2% that had been expected in the markets. The recovery that started in the spring, with growth of 0.3% following a double-dip recession lasting a year and a half, continues but is barely perceptible. Output is 0.4% lower than in the third quarter of 2012.The dismal outcome arose mainly from a slowdown in Germany, the euro area’s biggest economy, and actual output declines in France and Italy, the second and third largest respectively. German output expanded by 0.3%, well down on its 0.7% bounce in the spring. France, which had emerged from recession in the second quarter, did particularly badly as its GDP unexpectedly shrank, by 0.1%. Meanwhile Italy stayed in recession, with its output declining by 0.1%.The disappointing figures suggest that Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), was right to push through an interest-rate cut a week ago even though the move was reportedly opposed on the 23-strong governing council by six members including Jens Weidmann, head of the German Bundesbank, together with the top Dutch and Austrian central bankers. That decision was prompted by falling inflation, which collapsed from an already low 1.1% annual rate in September to 0.7% in …

via Economic Crisis


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