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Eurozone in deeper recession as German & French economies shrink.

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(Reuters) - The euro zone slipped deeper than expected into recession in the last three months of 2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank at the end of a wretched year for the region.


It marked the currency bloc's first full year in which no quarter produced growth, extending back to 1995. For the year as a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.5 percent


Economic output in the 17-country region fell by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, EU statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday, following a 0.1 percent output drop in the third.


The quarter-on-quarter drop was the steepest since the first quarter of 2009 and more severe than the average forecast of a 0.4 percent drop in a Reuters poll of 61 economists.


Within the zone, only Estonia and Slovakia grew in the last quarter of the year, although there are no figures available yet for Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia.


The big economies set the tone.


Germany contracted by 0.6 percent on the quarter, official data showed, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis was raging in 2009.


France's 0.3 percent fall was also slightly worse than expectations.


Worryingly for Berlin, it was export performance - the motor of its economy - that did most of the damage, declining significantly more than imports, although economists expect it to bounce back quickly.


The euro hit a session low against the dollar after the weaker than forecast German reading and dropped again after the release of full euro zone figures.


Back revisions to the French figures showed its output fell by 0.1 percent in each of the first and second quarters of 2012, meaning the country has already experienced one bout of recession in the last twelve months.


Thank goodness we didn't join their party.

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Thank goodness we didn't join their party.


According to http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/nov/25/gdp-uk-1948-growth-economy#chart in the 20 quarters since the start of 2008 the UK economy has grown in ten and shrunk in ten, including 4 of the last 5. If it shrinks again this quarter it will be the UK's 3rd recession in less than 6 years.


So it's not like our party is going swimmingly.

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Strong currencies make it difficult to export..it's always a two-edged sword..




UK car exports broke all-time export records in 2012, with overseas shipments exceeding 1.2m, up 8% on 2011, according to data released by the SMMT. Total car output was up 9% to 1.46m units.

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