The euro-zone economy all but stagnated in the third quarter with France’s recovery fizzling out and Germany‚??s growth slowing. The 9.5 trillion euro economy pulled out of its longest recession in the previous quarter but record unemployment, lack of consumer confidence and weak bank lending are preventing a rebound. In the quarter ended in September, the combined economy of the 17 countries sharing the euro grew by a slower-than-expected 0.1 percent. In the previous quarter, it rose 0.3 percent — the first expansion in 18 months. France‚??s economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the third quarter but it had been expected to post growth of 0.1 percent. Its economy now has shrunk in three of the last four quarters. Growth in Germany, Europe‚??s largest economy, slowed to 0.3 percent, down from 0.7 in the second quarter.
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