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Eurozone economy escapes recession in 2023

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the euro zone remained stable in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter, after a decline of 0.

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Eurozone economy escapes recession in 2023

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the euro zone remained stable in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter, after a decline of 0.1% from July to September, narrowly escaping a recession, according to data published on Tuesday by Eurostat.

The figure is higher than the forecasts of analysts from Bloomberg and Factset who expected a decline in GDP of 0.1% over the period from October to December and an entry into technical recession, defined by two consecutive negative quarters.

Over the whole of last year, the 20 countries sharing the single currency recorded growth of 0.5% compared to 2022, according to the European Statistics Office. This is a little less than the 0.6% anticipated in November by the European Commission in its latest forecasts.

The European economy suffered last year from high interest rates imposed by the European Central Bank (ECB) to calm record inflation. The contraction in credit weighed on investment and consumption by businesses and households alike, while exports suffered from the slowdown in global demand.

As a result, the eurozone became mired in stagnation, with GDP growth oscillating around zero: 0.1% from January to March, 0.1% from April to June, then -0.1% and 0%. , quarterly.

The figures were identical for the entire European Union.

But some countries have fared better. Spain, driven by tourism, grew by 2.5% last year, and France, at 0.9%, did better than average. .

Conversely, Germany, Europe's largest economy, suffered a decline of 0.3%, weighed down by the crisis in the industrial sector which is suffering from energy costs.

The Commission is due to publish its growth forecasts for 2024 on February 15. It had so far expected GDP to increase by 1.2% for the euro zone, but European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni warned in January that tensions geopolitics in the Middle East increased the risks of a downward revision of the outlook.

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