BRUSSELS, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Economies of at least eight of 27 EU countries are in recession, data released Tuesday by Eurostat indicates.
Using a standard definition of two consecutive quarters with negative economic growth, the European Union's statistical office said the economies of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Britain have contracted in the first and second recession.
Data on Greece is available elsewhere, but it has been in recession since 2008. On Monday an independent data office in Greece announced the country's gross domestic product fell 6.2 percent, the sharpest decline in Europe, after falling 6.5 percent in the first quarter.
Eurostat's data adds only Hungary to the list, as all the others had already posted two consecutive months with a shrinking economies. Eurostat also takes Romania off the recession list, as the economy there grew 0.5 percent in the second quarter over the first after two consecutive quarterly declines.
In addition, Luxembourg could be added to the list, as its economy shrunk January through March, but there is insufficient data available for an official estimate of its economic performance from April through June.
Malta's economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, but it has also not reported on the second quarter of this year.
Ireland's economy shrank 1.1 percent January, February and March after growing 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. But Eurostat also left Ireland's second quarter GDP off Tuesday's list, which means it, too, could have slipped back into recession.
Eurostat said the GDP in Germany, Europe's largest economy, rose 0.3 percent in the second quarter over the first, following a 0.3 percent gain in the first quarter and a 0.1 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The GDP in France, the region's second largest economy, was flat for the third consecutive quarter in the April through June period.
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