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Saturday 26th of February 2011
February 12, 2010    

Recovery stalls in euro zone’s largest economy

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by Kay Murchie
Recovery stalls in euro zone’s largest economy

Official figures have today revealed Germany’s GDP remained flat in the last three months of 2009, with growth unchanged compared with the third quarter.

Germany, which is the euro zone’s largest economy, emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2009 after experiencing positive growth.

However, in the fourth quarter, GDP fell below expectations of a 0.2% expansion and far below third quarter output which grew by 0.7%.

Today’s figures suggest that economic recovery is faltering and the euro fell further following the news.

Meanwhile, Germany recently lost its status as the world’s largest exporter as China overtook it in this field.

In 2009, exports plunged by 14.7% on the year, while investment in equipment fell by one fifth.

In the meantime, the euro zone’s second largest economy, France, posted a 0.6% rise in GDP for the fourth quarter of 2009 - beating analysts expectations.

France also emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2009.

Christine Lagarde, the French economy minister, told a French radio station: “I think [0.6%] is really a satisfactory result that proves that the stimulus measures we took … were efficient.”

The news comes just a day after it emerged that the Spanish economy is still in recession after the economy contracted by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009 - the seventh consecutive quarter of contraction.

The figures from the INE, the national statistics agency, show that Spain is now the last major economy still in recession.

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