The Irish economy slid back into recession at the end of 2011, as GDP contracted by 0.2 per cent in the final quarter. GNP (which excludes the earnings of large foreign companies) fell 2.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2011, though forecast to grow by 1.5 per cent.
Output growth in Germany slowed in March, economic activity contracted in France and manufacturing across the eurozone fell sharply, all suggesting the eurozone has entered a recession in the first quarter of 2012.
Spanish ten-year borrowing costs rose above 5.5 per cent on 22 March for the first time since January as markets became increasingly concerned over Spain due to weak eurozone growth. ■