The Eurozone's feeble recovery came to an outright halt in the second quarter, the latest in a batch of disappointing global economic indicators that have clouded the prospects for American growth.
Economic output in the 18-nation Euro area stalled in the April-June period, after four quarters of tiny gains, Eurostat, the
FOR THE RECORD
10:56 a.m.: An earlier version of this post said France is the third-largest economy in the Eurozone. It's the second-largest after Germany.
The zero-percent change in gross domestic product from the previous quarter followed growth of 0.2% in the first three months of the year. The performance was worse than analysts had predicted. Germany's economy, the Eurozone's largest, contracted 0.2% over the quarter, as did Italy's, which slipped into its third recession in six years. France, the bloc's second-biggest economy, showed no growth for the second straight quarter.
Although analysts do not foresee a downturn in the Eurozone economy -- the July purchasing managers' survey for the region was encouraging -- rising geopolitical tensions have added to the risks.
The EU's trade sanctions against Russia over the
The weak report on the Eurozone comes after news that Japan's economy, the world's third-largest, shrank by a larger-than-expected 1.7% in the second quarter, or 6.8% at an annual rate. Consumer spending took a big hit after the government's sales tax hike on April 1, and drops in residential investment and business investment added to the poor performance.
China's economy, the second-largest after the U.S., also showed signs of weakening at the start of the third quarter. The pace of retail sales, investments and industrial production all slowed in July compared to the previous month.
The weak recent data could give way to more economic stimulus in both Japan and China, analysts say. And in the Eurozone, the economic slowing could push the
Troubles in the global economy have dogged the American economy since early in the recovery, with the Eurozone's
U.S. economic growth stalled early this year, largely because of the harsh winter, but rebounded sharply in the second quarter. Economists are hoping that the recovery, now in its sixth year, will maintain a higher rate of growth of about 3% in the coming quarters, but economists say there are two big obstacles: one is the soft U.S. housing market; the second, fresh warning signs in the global economy.