Those fourth-quarter GDP numbers: euro zone –0.6 percent, Netherlands –0.2 percent, France –0.3 percent, Germany –0.6 percent, Hungary –0.9 percent, Italy –0.9 percent, Portugal –1.8 percent, Greece –6 percent over the year, Cyprus –1 percent, Spain –0.7 percent. As someone pointed out on Twitter, I wonder what they’d look like if the euro crisis wasn’t over. They do, however, make the U.K. and U.S. figures of –0.3 percent and –0.1 percent, respectively, look positively robust.
Of those numbers, Spain is perhaps the most worrying. The real figures are almost certainly worse than that, and Spain is a large economy, unlike Greece. Moreover, it is not a particularly cohesive state and could actually fall apart, with Catalan demands for independence growing.