With Recession Looming, Big European Economies Still Show Some Growth

The German economy expanded modestly over the summer, defying expectations that it would slide into a recession, but several other big European countries reported slowing economic growth on Friday, an ominous sign as record inflation driven by high energy and fuel prices continues to take a toll.

Europe’s largest economy, Germany surprised economists by expanding 0.3 percent in the July-to-September quarter, compared with the previous three months, data released by the country’s statistics office on Friday showed. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a 0.2 percent contraction. The increase was driven largely by consumer spending, the office said, and marked an acceleration from 0.1 percent growth in the previous quarter.

But growth slowed in France and Spain. The European Union’s second-largest economy, France, grew 0.2 percent in the quarter, down from 0.5 percent in the previous period. Consumer spending slipped as record inflation in September pushed consumer prices…

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