Eurozone recession deepenes

BRUSSELS - COLLAPSING exports and dwindling business investment forced the eurozone economy to contract 1.5 per cent in the last three months of 2008, the Eurostat data agency said on Thursday, confirming a first estimate.

The recession in the 15 countries sharing the euro in 2008 deepened sharply at the end of the year after contracting 0.2 per cent in the third quarter, according to Eurostat's figures.

The sharp deterioration was driven by a 7.3 per cent drop in exports in the fourth quarter while business investment fell by 2.7 per cent in the face of a global economic and financial crisis.

On a 12-month basis, the eurozone economy contracted by 1.3 per cent in the final quarter last year after growing 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, Eurostat said. -- AFP


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