New figures show the 17-nation eurozone slipped into recession in the third quarter. Southern Europe has seen years of weak or negative economic growth, and now the slowdown is spreading to northern economies.
Italy’s public debt hit a new high in 2013, soaring to a level not seen since the country’s statisticians began taking records. The debt exploded as Europe’s third-largest economy remained locked in recession.
At the end of 2013, Japan’s economy grew at a slower pace than initially forecast, raising concerns that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic reforms are losing steam. The plan has also caused a record trade deficit.
As the German economy has maintained steady growth over the past few years the number of corporate failures and private insolvencies has fallen. In 2013, the resulting losses were down by a quarter.
Economic activity in the countries using the euro is showing signs of new life after months in the doldrums. In the final quarter of 2013, output expanded in most of the bloc’s 18 member states.
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