May 15, 2013

Eurozone economic activity contracted in the first quarter of the year, the European Commission’s statistical office said Wednesday.

The decline of 0.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 wasn’t far off expectations, which predicted a 0.1 percent decline.

The numbers indicated the current recession in the 17-nation currency region hasn’t been as severe as the 2008-09 recession but it has lasted longer. The current recession has persisted for six consecutive quarters.

On an annualized basis, the eurozone economy has contracted 1 percent and the economy of the 27-member European Union has declined 0.7 percent, the data agency Eurostat said.

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