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Friday, February 13, 2009


Europe's industrial sector contracts more than expected
Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, reported that industrial production was down 12% in December compared with the same month a year earlier, a much sharper drop than analysts expected. "The extent and speed of the crisis is completely new," EU Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen told Financial Times Deutschland. BusinessWeek/Der Spiegel (Germany) (12 Feb.)

French economy shrinks by the most in at least 30 yearsFrance's GDP dropped 1.2% between the third and the fourth quarters, marking the most dramatic contraction since comparable figures were first compiled in 1978. "It's a black quarter," said Pierre-Olivier Beffy, an economist at Exane BNP Paribas. "The recession is far from being over." Bloomberg (13 Feb.)

Spain sees 14% unemployment, sharp economic contraction
Spain, once the biggest creator of jobs in the EU, is suffering an unemployment rate of 14%, nearly double the EU average. The National Statistics Institute said the country's economy contracted 1% in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, the biggest drop in more than 15 years. International Herald Tribune/Bloomberg (12 Feb.)

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