BRUSSELS/BERLIN | Germany’s economy crept back into growth at the start of the year but not by enough to stop the euro zone from contracting for a sixth straight quarter, and France slid into recession.
Falling output across the bloc meant the 17-nation economy is in its longest recession since records began in 1995.
It shrank 0.2 percent in the January to March period, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said on Wednesday, worse than the 0.1 percent contraction forecast by a Reuters poll.
“The misery continues,” said Carsten Brzeski, a senior economist at ING in Brussels. “Almost all core countries bar Germany are in recession and so far nothing has helped in stopping this downward spiral.
As well as France, the economy shrank for the quarter in Finland, Cyprus, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Greece. Data last month showed Spain’s economy contracted for a seventh consecutive quarter.
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