An elderly man carries shopping bags at Athens’ central fruit and vegetable market, on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. Greece is beating its budget targets by a wide margin so far this year, a sign the country’s painful cost cuts and tax increases, combined with international bailout funds, are paying off.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
LONDON (AP) — The recession that’s gripped the eurozone since late 2011 is likely over.
On Wednesday official figures are expected to show that economic growth among the 17 countries that use the euro inched up 0.2 percent in the April-June quarter compared with the previous quarter.
The increase is slight. But it would end six straight quarters of a debilitating recession — the longest to afflict the single-currency bloc since its creation in 1999.
And it would represent an encouraging sign for other economies, including the United States, the world’s largest, because the eurozone is the world’s biggest trading bloc. The eurozone’s recession held back growth in the United States, Japan and elsewhere as European consumers and businesses spent less on goods from those nations.
“Concerns about the eurozone were causing a lot of companies to put investment on hold,” said David Owen, chief European economist at Jefferies International.
The eurozone’s recession was a Login to read more