Europe Slump Deeper Than Expected by Whom?
February 14, 2009 Europe Slump Deeper Than Expected By ERIC PFANNER
PARIS — Europe sank even deeper into recession than the United States in the closing months of last year, according to figures published Friday, as finance ministers of leading industrialized nations gathered in one of the worst-affected countries, Italy, for discussions on the crisis.
The economy of the 16 countries sharing the euro currency declined by 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the European Union’s statistics office. That is even worse than the 1 percent decline in the United States economy during that period, compared with the previous quarter.
“Today’s data wipes out any illusion that the euro zone is getting off lightly in this global downturn,” said Jörg Radeke, an economist at the Center for Economics and Business Research in London.
Until recently, some economists had thought that Europe might suffer less from the recession, which started in the United States before spreading to most of the r…