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France, Germany out of recession

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Both France and Germany released figures this week showing that they have recovered from recession. Official data from France showed growth in the June quarter, with a 0.3 percent rise in gross domestic product (GDP). Earlier forecasts had predicted a 0.2 percent contraction. "The data is very surprising. After four negative quarters France is finally coming out of the red," said French economy minister Christine Lagarde. Germany, Europe's largest economy, grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter, a vast improvement on the 3.5 percent contraction it suffered in the first quarter. Forecasts has also expected a 0.2 percent contraction. Its statistics office attributed the rise to higher government and personal spending, and increased construction. However, elsewhere in Europe the story was more subdued with a decline on record across the 16 Euro Zone nations, including GDP falls for Austria, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.

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