Eurozone growth stalls, France lags, deflation threatens01 July 2014
AFP, Paris :
Europe's fragile recovery is stalling, a batch of economic data showed this week, with analysts warning that France, with the eurozone's second-biggest economy, could be slipping into another downturn.
Even the eurozone's economic powerhouse Germany-whose performance is increasingly divergent from laggard France-is starting to show signs of slowing growth and posted the lowest inflation for four years at 0.9 percent.
This adds to concerns that the spectre of eurozone deflation is coming closer.
Just a month ago, EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Siim Kallas sounded the all-clear for the bloc's economic health, saying that a "recovery has taken hold".
With Portugal joining Ireland in exiting a billion-euro bailout programme, and even Greece successfully raising money on the markets, the eurozone was looking to put its debt crisis behind it.
Analysts have backed this up from the standpoint of monetary policy, saying that decisions by the European Central Bank in the last two years to underpin the eurozone debt market have doused the debt crisis.
But, almost as quickly, data has emerged suggesting that the fallout from that crisis still weighs heavily on confidence, investment and growth.