The 15-nation eurozone has entered recession for the first time since the introduction of the common currency in 1999. The bloc's GDP contracted 0.2% in the second quarter, worse than expected, according to new figures released today. Several individual European nations, including giant Germany, are already contracting, and forecasters see little sign of a turnaround soon.
Europe's response to the global economic downturn has been piecemeal, with individual nations taking charge of their own affairs. But in December EU leaders will work out a collective response, possibly including a bailout of the floundering auto sector. The news also means that the European Central Bank, which has been more prudent than the Fed or the Bank of England, will probably offer a big rate cut at its next meeting.
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