Negative economic growth in some of Europe's largest economies has prompted fears the Eurozone group may go into recession.
Figures show the fifteen countries that make up Europe’s single currency area saw GDP fall by 0.2% in the second quarter of 2008.
The largest economy in Europe, Germany, saw its economy shrink by 0.5% in the three months to June, while France and Italy saw GDP growth of -0.3% each.
The strength of the Euro currency has been blamed, with exporters finding it difficult to sell their goods abroad.
The slowdown in consumer spending, prompted by the credit crunch, has also been a major factor.
Germany’s Government has warned the economy may contract again in the third quarter of the year, putting the country into a technical recession.
However, not all countries have been as badly affected, with Austria recording economic growth of 0.4% during the second quarter, while Spain, the fourth economic power of Europe, saw growth of 0.1%.
The rapid slowdown in Europe may increase fears that Britain’s economy will also go into recession in the coming months.
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