Big two fail to keep the eurozone afloat

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Slender growth in France and Germany has failed to halt the eurozone sliding into its second recession since 2009 and a rebound could be some way off.

The area’s two biggest economies both managed 0.2 per cent growth in the third quarter, according to figures released yesterday.

But the modest expansion could not save the austerity-hit 17-nation bloc from overall contraction as the likes of Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain shrank.

Economic output across the eurozone fell by 0.1 per cent in the quarter, following a 0.2-per cent drop between April and June.

Those two quarters of contraction put the €9.4 trillion (£7.6tn) economy in recession, although Italy and Spain have been contracting for a year already and Greece is suffering an outright depression.

Most economists expect Germany to contract in the fourth quarter for the first time since the end of 2011. Where Germany goes, France is likely to follow and analysts expect its economy to shrink in the October-to-December period.