Europe's recovery takes a backwards step

Disappointing GDP figures highlight just how long it will take for weaker economies to get back to their pre-crisis peaks. In fact, some may not ever get there.

The eurozone economy stalled during the June quarter, with major economies such as Germany and Italy contracting. With unemployment remaining elevated and growing fears about deflation -- combined with dysfunctional credit markets and an ageing population -- it will take years before the eurozone recovery is healthy enough to warrant tighter policy from the European Central Bank.

According to Eurostat, eurozone real GDP was unchanged in the June quarter, missing market expectations, to be just 0.7 per cent higher over the year. This follows modest growth of 0.2 per cent in the March quarter.

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