Eurozone turmoil deepens as unemployment hits record high, UK dodges double-dip as economy grows 0.3%

The slump in the troubled periphery spread to Germany and France, the region’s powerhouse economies, according to the report. Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at think-tank IHS Global Insight, said: ‘It looks odds-on that eurozone GDP contracted again in the first quarter of 2012.

Soaring: Graph shows unemployment across the European Union as a whole

Britain has dodged a double-dip recession but the crisis in the eurozone is deepening with unemployment at a record high, according to the latest figures.

The UK economy grew by 0.3 per cent in the first three months of the year, having shrunk by the same amount at the end of 2011, the British Chambers of Commerce said.

The return to growth – which means Britain has avoided a new recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of decline – came as factory output rose at its fastest pace for ten months in March.

But the BCC business lobby group said the recovery was still ‘much too slow’ and called for ‘forceful’ measures to kickstart the economy.

It comes after the respected Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development last week declared Britain was back in recession.

‘The UK economy is still facing huge challenges and the recovery is much too slow,’ said BCC director general John Longworth.

‘The UK has the potential to recover but to achieve that the Government has to set businesses free to grow.’


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