Nov 16, 2011 3:49 PM GMT
Europe appears headed for a recession — if it isn't in one already.
Economic growth has all but stopped in Europe, statistics showed Tuesday. The stall comes just when Italy, Greece and other nations need growth to help them wriggle out of the chokehold of debt.
The European Union economy grew a paltry 0.2 percent in July, August and September compared with the three months before, the EU statistics agency said. That is the same growth rate as the previous quarter, and far slower than the 0.7 percent before that.
And the picture is probably even worse. The statistics did not include Italy and Greece, the two countries in the most debt trouble. And their debt crisis only got worse in October, the month after this snapshot was taken.
Besides lowering standards of living and hurting the job market in Europe, a recession would be bad news for the U.S., which sells 20 percent of its exports to Europe, and for Asia.