(AP) Official figures due Thursday are expected to show the 17-country eurozone is in recession, though only just.
The eurozone has dodged recession during its three-year debt crisis, mainly thanks to the strength of its largest single economy, Germany.
But even Germany is struggling now as confidence drains in the face of the turmoil afflicting large parts of the eurozone, mainly the southern economies of Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Five eurozone countries are already in recession, officially defined as two straight quarters of economic contraction. Thursday's figures may see more joining them.
Analysts expect the eurozone economy contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.1 percent in the third quarter. Following a 0.2 percent decline in the second quarter, that would put the eurozone in recession.