The Eurozone economy shrank by 0.6 per cent in the first three months of the year as it slid back into recession following persistent Covid lockdowns.
The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said GDP in the 19 countries sharing the euro contracted by 1.8 per cent year-on-year.
This put the single currency area in a technical recession after a 0.7 per cent quarterly GDP fall in the last quarter of 2020.
The contraction was softer than expected, with economists predicting an 0.8 per cent quarterly decline and a two per cent annual fall.
The Eurozone’s slide was mainly caused by a 1.7 per cent slump in its biggest economy Germany, though mitigated by growth in France.
Separately, eurozone consumer prices rose 0.6 per cent month-on-month in April, signalling a 1.6 per cent yearly gain.
The rise was buoyed by a 10.3 per cent year-on-year surge in energy prices, which offset a fall in the costs of unprocessed food.
Eurostat also said that eurozone unemployment fell in March to 8.1 per cent of the workforce, which represents more than 13 million people.