The euro zone’s economy grew in the third quarter but barely according to the latest reading of data from the EU’s Statistics Office Eurostat.
Growth in the 17 countries using the euro was just 0.2 percent the same as the second quarter according to Eurostat’s second reading of the data first released on November 15.
Slumping business confidence and slowing industrial output point to a recession giving the European Central Bank grounds for an interest rate cut this week.
Household spending and exports kept the euro zone’s economy in positive territory in the third quarter, adding 0.2 percentage point and 0.6 percentage point respectively to the final outcome.
But in a sign of the evaporating confidence at factories and businesses across the region, investment was flat for the second quarter running and companies sold down inventories, which subtracted 0.2 percentage point from the quarterly figure.
Imports took away another 0.4 percentage point.
For many economists and the ECB a recession is all but a certainty, as the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis drags the economy down.