06/03/2012 15:06 AST

The Eurozone economy contracted as initially estimated in the fourth quarter, with the economic setback reflecting widespread weakness in spending, investment and foreign demand amid fiscal squeeze and debt woes.

Gross domestic product suffered a 0.3 percent reduction in the fourth quarter from a quarter ago, second estimates from Eurostat confirmed Tuesday. The first contraction since the second quarter of 2009, limited the annual growth to 0.7 percent.

In the third quarter, GDP grew 0.1 percent sequentially and advanced 1.3 percent from a year ago.

That said, European Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said he sees signs of stabilization in the region.

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