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Eurozone to stay in recession

The eurozone was almost certainly condemned to a third successive quarter of recession today as its biggest member, Germany, saw output shrink 0.5 per cent between October and December. The fall, triggered by slumping industrial orders and exports, means Germany advanced just 0.7 per cent in 2012, against the 3 per cent rate in 2011.

Analysts are also braced for the German government to halve its 2013 growth forecast to 0.5 per cent today. Germany's struggles are likely to harden attitudes among voters towards bailouts for other eurozone members before the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, goes to the polls this year.