News / Europe

    European Economy Shrinks

    Traders at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange, August 14, 2012. Traders at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange, August 14, 2012.
    x
    Traders at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange, August 14, 2012.
    Traders at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange, August 14, 2012.
    Lisa Bryant
    PARIS— Europe's two biggest economies have managed to dodge recession, but newly published statistics offer grim news for the region as a whole.  

    New figures released by Eurostat statistical agency show the economies of both the eurozone and the 27-member European Union shrank by 0.2 percent in the second quarter of the year.

    What is a Recession?

    • The economy has "negative growth," meaning it shrinks for 2 consecutive quarters (3 month periods)
    • Some economists say a recession becomes a depression if the economy shrinks by 10% or more
    • A shrinking economy can raise unemployment rates, depress stock and housing markets
    The only glimmer of good news came from Germany and France. Growth for Europe's largest economy, Germany, was a modest 0.3 percent. And the second largest economy France managed to escape widespread expectations of recession by registering zero growth for a third consecutive quarter. Recession is defined as two successive quarters of negative growth.

    Speaking on French radio, Economy and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici offered a modestly upbeat reaction to the findings.

    Moscovici said there were a few encouraging signs, including a small pickup in investment. But he said the fact that France's economy was faring slightly better than those of Italy and Spain was not good enough. Both economies contracted in the second quarters.

    Analysts point to plenty of worrying indicators. French household consumption shrank in the second quarter and unemployment is just below 10 percent.

    Economist Nicolas Bouzou, director of the Asteres group, told RTL radio that means the Socialist government in France faces daunting challenges as it tries to both encourage growth and employment and cut the deficit.

    Experts are watching France carefully, fearing it may be the next country hit by the eurozone crisis. Some worry the fall may bring more bad news for the 17-nation currency area.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Fritz from: Germany
    August 16, 2012 3:25 PM
    European Economy Shrinks... too many Muslimes... time to send them back to their Islamic countries...

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 15, 2012 2:48 PM
    Righteousness exalts a nation; sin is a reproach to a people that forget their God. In those days Europe was concerned with teaching people that God exists. Today Europe needs re-evangelizing. Like the chosen people, the descendants of Abraham by Isaac they have forgotten where they started. The saying goes that if you forget where you're coming from, you as well forget where you're going to. That's exactly what's happening in Europe, USA and Canada today. And when that becomes the case, their state cannot but become worse until they trace their steps back and return to their Creator. Because children are now reared like zoo animals without human inclined orientation, they grow wild. No wonder shooting has become a daily occurrence out there. A scientist once said a life without an assumption of God is purposeless. The purposelessness in Europe and elsewhere is leading to fruitless endeavors because, "if the Lord does not guard the city, in vane does the watchman waste his sleep; unless the Lord builds the house, in vane does the workman waste his effort." Ps 127:1. The ungodly nations that seem to prosper is the captivity and exile of those who lose sight of their God. It is the mystery of God. It is the same God who does it. But the prosperity with which God's people are blessed usually far surpasses the riches of the ungodly when the prodigal sons return from the Far Country. Let him who has ears hear.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora