Eurozone officially in recession: Eurostat

November 14th, 2008 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Nov 14 (DPA) The 15-member eurozone officially slumped into recession Friday after its economy contracted by 0.2 percent for a second quarter in a row, the European statistical office said.Figures from Eurostat showed that gross domestic product in two of the euro area’s biggest economies, Germany and Italy, fell by 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2008, after falling by 0.4 percent in the second.

The other eurozone heavyweight, France, saw its GDP grow by just 0.1 percent in the third quarter, after contracting by 0.3 percent in the previous three months.

Economists define a technical recession as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

While the European Union’s (EU) GDP also fell, by 0.2 percent, in the third quarter, economic growth in the 27-member bloc was stuck at zero percent in the second quarter.

However, there were more signs Friday that the EU was also suffering, with demand for new passenger cars plunging by 14.5 percent in October, according to the European car manufacturers’ association, ACEA.

The eurozone’s GDP figures were published just one day before heads of state and government from the world’s 20 leading economies were due to meet in Washington to discuss the global financial crisis.

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