Paul Hannon
online.wsj.com
July 27, 2012

The pace of economic contraction in the euro-zone picked up in July compared with the previous month as consumer and business confidence weakened amid the deepening fiscal and banking crises, according to a measure of activity compiled by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the Bank of Italy.

A monthly survey also released Friday showed consumer confidence in France, the euro zone’s second-largest economy, weakened in July, and the unemployment rate in Spain continued to rise in the second quarter, hitting a record high of 24.63%.

In Italy, the euro zone’s third largest economy, another monthly survey released Friday showed business confidence weakened as new orders dried up.

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