France, Germany and Italy plunge into recession

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France, Germany and Italy plunge into recession: the euro zone suffers the biggest slump since the launch of the single currency

Germany, France and Italy all plunged into recession as the eurozone experienced its greatest crisis since the launch of the single currency.

The figures revealed the damage that Covid-19 has inflicted across the continent, with strict restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the disease.

The economy of the euro area as a whole fell 3.8% in the first quarter, the most since the records started in 1995, about four years before the launch of the euro.

Slowdown: a worker mounts wheels on a Mercedes car on the production line in Rastatt, Germany. The economy of the euro area as a whole fell 3.8% in the first quarter

Slowdown: a worker mounts wheels on a Mercedes car on the production line in Rastatt, Germany. The economy of the euro area as a whole fell 3.8% in the first quarter

This means it is now on the brink of recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.

The euro area experienced fractional growth of just 0.2% in the last three months of last year.

But Germany, the bloc’s economic power, was among those to fall into recession.

Its GDP – or gross domestic product – fell 2.2% in the first quarter, the largest decline since the “great recession” more than ten years ago.

This followed a 0.1% drop in the last three months of last year.

Jack Allen-Reynolds of Capital Economics said the data shows that the coronavirus is taking a heavy toll on Germany.

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