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Date:8/21/2014

dip in its GDP – the first one in over 12 months. Germany's Federal Statistics Office reported a 0.2% contraction in second quarter. The economic contraction between April and June compared unfavorably to expectations of zero growth. The Statistics Office also revised down first quarter numbers to 0.7% from 0.8%. Nonetheless, the second quarter contraction is a lot to worry about when juxtaposed against first quarter numbers. It was also reported separately that Germany's inflation dropped to the lowest since Feb 2010, at 0.8%.

The surprising Germany contraction was largely an outcome of high level of trade deficit. Declining investments, more so in the construction sector, dragged the GDP to the red.

Eurozone's third-largest economy, Italy, slipped into recession after its GDP shrank 0.2% in the second quarter. A Reuters poll had been expecting a 0.2% gain. This was the third instance that Italy slid into recession since 2008. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi now faces severe pressure to implement the structural reforms.

"Growth Broken Down" in France

France, which along with Germany, contributes 66% of the bloc's GDP saw zero growth in the second quarter. France's Finance Minister Michel Sapin said "growth has broken down, in Europe and in France." The country also cut its 2014 and 2015 growth forecasts and said it will fail to meet the deficit targets this year.

National statistics office INSEE reported zero growth in the second quarter, mirroring the flat growth also recorded in the first quarter. This makes things difficult for the nation to achieve a 1% growth. The French government halv
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