Brussels’ stats confirm sharpest fall in Eurozone GDP since 2009

Julian Harris
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THE EUROZONE is mired in a deep double-dip recession according to statisticians in Brussels, as a second estimate released yesterday showed an unchanged 0.6 per cent drop in GDP during the final three months of last year.

The sharp economic contraction is the most severe over a quarterly period since the height of the bloc’s debt crisis in 2009.

Only two of the Eurozone’s member states – Estonia (0.9 per cent) and Slovakia (0.2 per cent) – registered economic growth in the three months to December, with 15 other countries recording a contraction.

In Germany GDP is believed to have sunk by 0.6 per cent, while in neighbouring France a 0.3 per cent dip was recorded.

Spain dropped 0.8 per cent, with Italy down 0.9 per cent.

Compared to the final quarter of 2011, GDP in the euro area was 0.9 per cent down, reflecting another miserable year for the single currency area.

Separate data published by Markit on Tuesday suggested that the Eurozone is set for another fall in GDP during the first three months of 2013, too.

The research company’s composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) sank to 47.9 from 48.6 for February. All numbers below 50 indicate a shrinking economy.