New data shows the recession has eased in Europe, where the two largest economies, Germany and France, returned to growth after a period of decline.

Some analysts say the new figures may show the worst of the recession has passed.

For the 16 nations that use the euro, the sum of all the goods and services produced shrank by 0.1 percent in April, May and June.  Those gross domestic product figures are a significant improvement over the previous quarter, and better than most economists had predicted.

The GDP in Germany and France grew 0.3 percent in the second quarter, a sharp improvement over the declines registered in the early months of the year.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.