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Euro-Area Economy Shrinks for the First Time Since 2009: Economy

Europe’s economy shrank less than economists forecast in the fourth quarter as a better-than-predicted performance in Germany and France helped mitigate the region’s first contraction since 2009.

Gross domestic product in the 17-nation euro area fell 0.3 percent from the prior three months, the first drop since the second quarter of 2009, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.4 percent, the median of 42 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey shows. In Germany, Europe’s largest economy, GDP dropped less than economists projected in the fourth quarter, while France’s economy unexpectedly expanded in that period.