Spain continues to slide deeper into recession. Economic output fell by 0.7 percent on the same period in 2011. It's the steepest decline in three years. Spending cuts and tax hikes are putting the brakes on growth.
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.
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.
The EU executive Commission has urged Germany to curb its trade surplus, identifying it as a risk to the eurozone economy. The country’s huge exports should be matched with higher domestic consumption and investment.
French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy have welcomed the formation of a grand coalition government in Germany. Left-leaning Hollande praised plans for a minimum wage in particular.
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