“Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the G20 area grew by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with 0.6% in the third quarter, according to preliminary estimates. The aggregate G20 GDP growth rate however continues to mask diverging patterns across the worlds largest economies. Among the Major Seven countries, all European countries (Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom) experienced a GDP contraction in the last quarter of 2012 (from minus 0.9% in Italy and minus 0.6% in Germany to minus 0.3% in France and the United Kingdom). By contrast, the non-European Major Seven countries recorded broadly stable or positive growth rates in the fourth quarter of 2012 (slightly above 0.0% in Japan and the United States, and 0.2% in Canada). Among remaining G20 economies, India, Mexico, Korea, Brazil and South Africa recorded a higher growth in the fourth quarter of 2012 than in the previous quarter, while in Australia, Indonesia and China GDP growth remained broadly stable. Compared with the same quarter of 2011, GDP growth slowed to 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012 in the G20 area, with China recording the highest growth rate (7.9%) and Italy the largest contraction (minus 2.8%). For 2012 as a whole, GDP expanded by 2.8% in the G20 area, compared with 3.8% in 2011.”
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