The 17-member euro zone has fallen back into recession for the first time since the global financial crisis bit hard in 2009, going by figures released by European Union statistics office Eurostat on November 15 2012 that showed negative growth in the common currency zone in the third quarter of this year.
GDP fell by 0.1 per cent in the euro area and increased by 0.1 per cent across the 27-member EU during the third quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat on November 15 2012. In the second quarter of 2012, growth rates were -0.2 per cent in both zones.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 0.6 per cent in the euro area and by 0.4 per cent in the EU27 in the third quarter of 2012, after -0.4 per cent and -0.3 per cent, respectively, in the previous quarter.
Shrinking demand and the euro zone’s continuing debt crisis hit GDP performance hard. Among the euro zone’s strongest economies,Germany’s third quarter 0.2 per cent GDP growth and France’s 02. per cent did not save the currency group falling into recession.
The Eurostat flash estimates came a day after large-scale protests in about 23 European countries against austerity measures, and amid a standoff among EU institutions on the bloc’s 2013 budget and 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. On November 13, the European Parliament walked out of an attempted deadlock-breaking negotiation on the 2013 budget. European Union leaders are scheduled to meet in Brussels next week for a summit on the financial framework to 2020.
* Eurostat’s flash estimate showed GDP growth in Bulgaria at 0.5 per cent in Q3 2012, after 0.5 per cent in Q2 2012 and 0.5 per cent in Q1 2012.
(Photo: José Antonio López)