Belfast Telegraph

Gloom for countries using euro

The European Union is downgrading its predictions for the 27-country bloc's economy, warning it will decline further and recover more slowly than previously forecast as it struggles to resolve the debt crisis.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, confirmed its prediction that the 17 countries that use the euro will slide into recession this year, with gross domestic product falling 0.4%.

But it also expects the entire EU to contract by 0.3%.

Both predictions are worse than the ones made this spring.

The commission has also downgraded its forecast for 2013. It had expected the eurozone to grow by 1% - now it predicts an uptick of 0.1%.

Official third-quarter GDP figures for the EU are released on November 15.