Euro Zone Economy Shrank

Euro zone economy contracted in the fourth quarter on the back of declining investment, decreasing exports and consumer spending.

The EU’s statistics office announced today that gross domestic product decreased 0.3 percent from the third quarter, which was in line with an initial estimate published in February. Exports fell 0.4 percent after a 1.4 percent gain in the previous three months. Household spending declined 0.4 percent and investment dropped 0.7 percent, the biggest drop since 2009.

Europe is facing its second recession in less than three years, however, according to the ECB, there are some signs of stabilization in the economy.

The ECB’s two liquidity operations took total long-term lending to above 1 trillion euros, and has helped reduce the risk of a credit crunch, allowing governments time to come up with measures to address the debt crisis. Some economists say that the ECB’s cash injections and government progress on solving the crisis in the euro zone economy should boost growth from the second half of this year.

According to the EU’s commission forecast, the 17-nation economic output may decrease 0.3 percent this year, driven by a contraction of 1.3 percent in Italy and 1 percent in Spain. German economy is expected to grow 0.6 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Market Analyst at OANDA
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental analysis, Kenneth Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in several major online financial publications including Investing.com, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Based in Israel, Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.