The eurozone economy may have shrunk in the first quater 2003 according to the European Commission. The suggestion comes in the Spring 2003 economic forecast:
The Commission said on Thursday it had trimmed its estimates because of sluggish demand and uncertainty linked to the Iraq war, forecasting first quarter growth of minus 0.2 to 0.2 per cent and second quarter growth at 0.1 to 0.4 per cent. The gloomy estimates were released as the European Central Bank warned in its April monthly bulletin that the economic outlook was uncertain.The central bank said it expected "only a modest rate of economic growth for 2003" after recent data and surveys suggested the eurozone economy "remained weak" in the early part of this year.Economists said the tone of the bulletin signalled continued concern about the downward risks to growth and suggested the ECB was keeping the door open to another rate cut in coming months.
Source: Financial Times