Euro zone slips deeper than expected into recession

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February 14, 2013 9:14 PM EST

The euro zone slipped far deeper than expected into recession in the fourth quarter as Europe's two largest economies, Germany and France, both shrank markedly at the end of the year.

Economic output in the 17-country euro zone slid by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said, following a 0.1 percent drop in the third quarter.

Economists polled by Reuters had on average expected a decline of 0.4 percent.

The year 2012 was the first calendar year for the euro zone with no quarter showing economic growth, according to Eurostat data extending back to 1995.

For further details of Eurostat data click on: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)

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Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters UK. All rights reserved.

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