The eurozone recession deepened in the final three months of 2012, it has been revealed.
This is despite the raft of positive reports including purchasing managers' indices and upwardly revised growth forecasts for the 17-nation region.
According to Eurostat, the eurozone economy shrank by a greater-than-expected 0.6 per cent in the October-December period.
This is the sharpest contraction recorded since records began in 2009 and marks the first time the region failed to grow in any quarter over the course of an entire calendar year.
In the second quarter the eurozone shrank by 0.2 per cent, with a 0.1 per cent decline logged in the third quarter.
Major economies including France and Germany recorded disappointing gross domestic product data for the three-month period.
At 09:25 GMT, the pan-European DJ Eurostoxx declined by 0.1 per cent to 2631.6 points, while the German Dax retreated to 7617 points and France's Cac 40 was flat at 3672.6 points.
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