The eurozone economy shrank 0.6 per cent in the final three months of 2012, posting its worst performance in almost four years
Recession deepened across the 17 member states as major economies Germany, France and Italy all saw bigger than forecast contractions in the period.
Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, recorded the biggest slump, with a fall of 0.6 per cent, its most significant contraction since the height of the financial crisis.
France’s output shrank by 0.3 per cent compared to the previous three months, and Italy’s economy contracted 0.9 per cent, more than expected and a sixth consecutive fall.
It marked the currency bloc's first full year in which no quarter produced growth since 1995, and for the year as a whole, GDP fell by 0.5 per cent.
Within the bloc, only Estonia and Slovakia recorded growth in the last quarter of the year.
The rest of this news story can be read on economia