The latest GDP figures have revealed that the eurozone’s economy is in dire trouble and faces slipping into a double dip recession in the next quarter, unless there is a swift turnaround in its fortunes.
The official statistics released on Tuesday, showed that the whole region contracted by 0.2 per cent growth for the second quarter, leaving the region vulnerable to entering a second recession.
And although some of the stronger candidates, such as Germany, still managed to register growth, the rate of expansion was far weaker than could normally be expected.
The 17 nation bloc shrunk by 0.2% overall between May and June and with economists predicting the next quarter to be equally challenging, the possibility of a double dip recession hitting the eurozone now looks like a very real possibility.
Several of the individual nations suffered a contraction far greater than the average. Belgium – which has so far managed to stay out of trouble – registered a loss of 0.6%, whilst the troubled economies of Italy and Portugal shrank by 0.7% and 1.2%.
Some countries managed to enjoy some growth; both the Netherlands and Austria were higher by 0.2%. The powerhouse economy of Germany was higher by 0.3%, beating predictions of just 0.2% expansion, but still far below what the country has come to expect.
France registered the third consecutive quarter of zero growth, but compared to the forecast of a contraction, this was viewed as a success.
Experts said that a detailed breakdown of the figures showed a Europe clearly divided in two. According to ING banking expert, Martin van Vliet, the south of the area is ‘mired in recession,’ whilst the north of Europe is still ‘defying’ the bloc’s economic woes.
Britain is currently in the middle of the worst double dip recession in more than 60 years and registered a 0.7% contraction in the last quarter.