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By Rowena Mason
Last Updated: 9:55PM BST 17 Apr 2009
Economists are concerned that GDP forecasts for the region are still too optimistic, as it has yet to show any initial signs that the financial crisis may be easing – unlike the UK and the US.
Falling global demand for goods has hindered exports from the eurozone countries, dropping back to €99.2bn (£87.4bn), down 24pc on the same period last year. Imports fell by 21pc to €101.2bn, according to the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat.
The eurozone typically exports more goods than it imports, but last year's €1.7bn trade surplus swung to a €2bn deficit.
"I'm not sure the weakness of Europe has been fully recognised yet," said Jonathan Loynes, head of European research at Capital Economics. "There was a general perception that it would hold up relatively well, as it did not have the same overvalued housing market as the UK and US. But now the collapse in trade means countries like Germany could see GDP fall by 6pc – even worse the UK."