Dead man walking: EU posts worst economic contraction since 2009
The economy of the 17-member euro zone contracted 0.6 percent in the last three months of 2012, while that of Japan shrank 0.1 percent, officials said Thursday, underscoring the depth of the economic slump gripping the world economy.
The euro zone and Japan are only the latest large economies to announce contractions in the fourth quarter of last year. The US announced a surprise 0.1 percent contraction in its economy last month, and the British government said its economy shrank 0.3 percent.
The euro zone figures show the most drastic single-quarter fall in economic output in four years. Even worse, the eurozone economy contracted 0.5 percent in all of 2012. It was the first full year in which the area did not post a single quarter of economic growth on records going back to 1995.