The euro zone will return to modest growth in the spring of 2012, official institutes from France, Germany and Italy forecast today.

The euro zone entered a short recession in late 2011.

The three statistics agencies offer a joint assessment of the euro zone economy every quarter.

They confirmed an earlier outlook of a 0.2% contraction in the first quarter of 2012 after a 0.3% contraction in the final quarter of 2011.

 

For the third quarter of this year, the three institutes forecast stagnation, followed by a slim 0.1% expansion in the fourth quarter.

"Activity will gain slowly," the institutes said, "but growth will stay weak."