Selasa, 19 Agustus 2008

Euro economy shrinks, sparking recession fears

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The euro-zone economy shrank 0.2 percent in the second quarter, EU statistics showed Thursday, raising recession fears as Germany, France and Italy braked sharply with high fuel and food prices holding back consumer spending.

Worse seems yet to come, with European business and consumer confidence at the lowest level in more than five years in July, inflation hovering at the highest point since 1996 and the jobless rate climbing from an all-time low.

Still, the European Commission sought to downplay concerns Europe is verging on a recession, with spokeswoman Amelia Torres saying it would be "exaggerated to use that word."


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