Eurozone first quarter GDP crunch hits harder than thought

The Eurozone has seen GDP drop by 1.1 per cent in the year to the first quarter of 2013, from a 0.9 per cent decline previously. Economists had anticipated a contraction of just 1.0 per cent.

On a quarterly basis GDP fell by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter, in line with expectations. The euro fell against the dollar on the news.

Retail sales also dropped across the euro area by 1.1 per cent in the year to April, slower than the 2.4 per cent fall last month but still ahead of forecats of a 0.8 per cent drop.