06 Jan '12, 1pm

Gloomy economic news fuels fears of recession

SINGAPORE: The eurozone was hit by a raft of gloomy economic news on Friday that unemployment was stuck at a record high, retail sales fell, and consumer and business confidence sunk as recession looms large. Analysts said the disappointing figures indicate that the eurozone's economy contracted in the last quarter of 2011 and will likely shrink again in the first quarter of the year. "Today's batch of eurozone data has recession written all over it," said ING analyst Martin van Vliet, adding that the banking group forecasts a contraction of 0.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2011 and a slightly smaller decline in the first quarter of this year. While governments cut spending and reform their economies to stave off the festering debt crisis, the unemployment rate was at an all-time high 10.3 per cent for the second month running in November, official figures showed. The r...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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