Germany's recovery from recession faltered in the final quarter of 2009, according to preliminary figures released today.
Its economy failed to build at all on the 0.7% growth in domestic product (GDP) enjoyed in the third quarter, data from the Federal Statistics Office reveal. Some economists forecasted GDP would expand 0.2%.
The figures also show the German economy shrank 5% over the whole of last year.
Meanwhile France reported a 0.6% rise in GDP for the same three-period - better than analysts expected.
Germany emerged from recession last summer thanks to a recovery in its exports - on which it largely relies.
Meanwhile, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, mounted stiff resistance to any swift bailout of Greece, as a rift opened up between European capitals over how best to tackle the risks posed to the euro.
Despite a show of Franco-German unity on the crisis and the first statement from EU leaders pledging to safeguard the currency's stability, hopes on the markets of a German-led rescue plan were dashed by Merkel, writes the Guardian.
She repeatedly emphasised Athens would need to put its own house in order and brushed aside all questions of financial support. Full story...
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