16 Nov 2012

Eurozone back in recession

12:27 pm on 16 November 2012

The eurozone is back in recession for the first time in three years.

Official figures show the economy of the 17-nation bloc contracted by 0.1% between July -September, after shrinking 0.2% in the previous three months.

The eurozone was last in recession in 2009, when the economy contracted for five consecutive quarters.

The previous recession started in 2008 in the aftermath of a deep financial crisis.

Austerity measures in many countries - mostly in southern Europe - have combined tax rises with cuts in salaries, pensions, benefits and social services.

They were put in place to cut huge government debts, putting more pressure on already weak economies and helping send them back in recession.

In the latest figures, Germany slowed and France grew slightly, but Portugal, Spain and Italy all contracted.

The Netherlands had the sharpest decline, with its economy shrinking more than 1%.