Euro-Area GDP Slumps Most Since 2009

Economies of Germany, France and Italy all shrank more than expected in fourth quarter.

The euro-area recession deepened more than economists forecast with the worst performance in almost four years as the region’s three biggest economies suffered slumping output.

Gross domestic product fell 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the most since the first quarter of 2009 in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and exceeded the 0.4 percent median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Ninth Contraction

Other releases today showed that Portugal’s GDP fell by 1.8 percent in the ninth successive quarter of contraction, while in Austria and the Netherlands, it dropped 0.2 percent. In Greece, which doesn’t publish quarter-on-quarter data, GDP fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

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