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 It wasn't a surprise when Italy re-entered recession. Nor when France's economy flattened to zero growth for the second straight quarter.
  But when Germany's economy contracted then people started taking notice.

  That's means the three largest economies in Europe are going nowhere, and the problems extend beyond that.

Prices in Greece fell by an average of 0.8pc in July, according to Eurostat, while prices in Portugal and Spain fell by 0.7pc and 0.4pc respectively. In Italy, the inflation rate was zero.
 Deflation in Greece is not surprising, since the Greek economy has been shrinking non-stop since 2008.
  Spain's and Portugal's economies have finally started growing again, but the Romanian economy is shrinking and the Czech Republic's economy is flat.
 Talk about exiting the Euro is back, but this time it is Italy instead of Greece.
 "We can't keep going any longer," said the Taranto branch of Italy's business lobby, Confindustria, in an open letter to the country's president. The region is becoming an "industrial desert", it warned, with small companies on the brink of mass closures and lay-offs.
  Eugenio Scalfari, the doyen of La Repubblica and a leader of Italy’s EMU establishment, says the relapse over recent months has killed off all illusions. He advised Mr Renzi to prepare for a rescue. “I must speak a bitter truth because we can all see the reality before our eyes. Perhaps Italy should put itself under the control of the Troika of the [European] Commission, the ECB and the IMF,” he said.
   It is an incontrovertible fact that Italy’s 14-year disaster coincides with EMU membership. This does not prove causality. It suggests that EMU set off a very destructive dynamic for Italy's particular circumstances, and is strong evidence that EMU now prevents the country from breaking out of the trap.
 However, all of that pales in comparison to the concerns about the collapsing Ukrainian economy and currency and what the coming Russian sanction will do.
   The ZEW indicator of economic sentiment plunged more sharply than expected to a 20-month low of 8.6 points from 27.1 points in July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a far smaller drop, to 18.2 points...
   The imposition of tit-for-tat sanctions between Russia and the EU, with Brussels banning exports such as oil and gas equipment to Russia and the Kremlin retaliating with an embargo on European food imports, has hit confidence.
 No one knows exactly how much effect the sanctions will have, but will almost certainly make things worse.
  It's interesting that despite the collapsing Ukrainian economy, they still managed to impose sanctions on Russia.

  It should also be noted that Europe did NOT have the worst economic growth news this week. Japan did.

 Japan’s economy contracted the most since the record earthquake three years ago as consumption and investment plunged after an April sales-tax increase aimed at curbing the world’s biggest debt burden.
   Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 6.8 percent in the three months through June, the Cabinet Office said.
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