14 Feb 2012 by Jim Fickett.
Today Eurostat reported industrial production figures through December. Last month it was already pretty clear the trend was down. Now there is no doubt.
(Data and graph courtesy of Eurostat.)
With industrial production declining, unemployment worse than during the crisis, retail trade also declining, and credit conditions tightening, it will be quite surprising if we do not find that Europe entered recession in Q4 2011. It is possible that the European Central Bank's large liquidity operations will turn the situation around in time, but so far there is little evidence of banks increasing lending to the real economy.