The Meltdown

Europe Officially In Recession

The entire European economy has followed Germany into recession. The E.U. reports that GDP in the 15 nations using the euro shrank 0.2 percent last quarter, equaling its previous quarter. Consecutive quarters of contraction officially mean recession. It's the first recession since the euro was introduced nearly 10 years ago. Germany's recession will be its worst in at least 12 years, while Spain's recession is its first in 15 years. Italy is entering familiar territory, as this is its fourth recession in a decade. Surprisingly, France bucked the trend—its economy grew 0.1 percent, despite shrinking by 0.3 percent in the previous quarter. Expect Nicolas Sarkozy to rub it in his neighbors' faces.