Like a high-speed RailEurope train, the debt crisis keeps chugging along in the euro zone. But there are a few countries where the contagion hasn’t fully spread. Yet.
A new debt crisis report out today reveals that Germany’s gross domestic product actually gained 0.5% during the first three months of the year. Several other countries also grew their GDPs.
Many euro-zone countries weren’t so fortunate. Spain’s economy contracted for a second straight quarter, thus officially pushing it into recession. Italy remains mired in a recession after contracting for a third straight quarter.
Fortunately, the growing and receding countries balanced each other out, preventing the euro zone as a whole from officially entering a recession. Collectively the euro zone grew 0% from the previous quarter, but did not contract.
Here’s a closer look at some of the debt crisis numbers:
The Bad News
- Greece’s economy was 6.2% smaller from January through March than it was in the first quarter a year ago. The country is on the brink of a default, and it may not be part of the euro zone for long.
- Italy contracted by 0.8% from the fourth quarter; Spain contracted 0.3%
- The Netherlands’ GDP declined 0.2%; Portugal’s contracted 0.1%. Both countries remained in recession
- The Czech Republic shrank by 1%
- Hungary contracted 0.7%
- Romania contracted 0.1%
- Cyprus remained in a recession
The Good News
- Germany’s economy was the biggest bright spot, expanding 0.5% from the fourth quarter and 1.2% compared to the same quarter a year ago
- Finland’s economy grew by 1.3% from a year ago
- Belgium grew by 0.3%
- Austria grew by 0.2%
The Mixed News
- France’s economy stagnated, with 0% GDP growth. With a new president, Francois Hollande, being sworn in earlier today, the current quarter could prove to be a pivotal turning point one way or another for the world’s fifth-largest economy.