Eurozone recession deepens in Q4, economy shrinks 0.6%

The recession in the 17-nation eurozone recession deepened sharply in the fourth quarter of 2012, with the economy shrinking by 0.6 percent from output in the three months to September when it dropped 0.1 percent, official data showed today.

In the second quarter of 2012, the eurozone economy had contracted 0.2 percent on a sequential basis, meaning the recession has now lasted three quarters as the debt crisis has sapped growth and sent unemployment soaring.

Compared with output in the fourth quarter of 2011, the eurozone economy contracted 0.9 percent, according to Eurostat agency figures.

For the wider 27-member European Union, output fell 0.5 percent compared with third quarter 2012 when the bloc had eked out growth of just 0.1 percent to narrowly avoid being in recession, as defined as two consecutive quarterly negative figures.

Compared with fourth quarter 2011, the EU economy shrank 0.6 percent.

Eurostat said that for 2012 as a whole, the eurozone economy contracted 0.5 percent and the EU 0.3 percent. (

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