By Max Clarke

Fresh doubts about the strength of the eurozone have been raised after German economic growth all but ground to a halt over the second quarter 2011.

Having previously defied Europe’s economic downturn to post growth of 1.5% during the first quarter 2011, this latest slowdown by the continent’s dominant economy will plunge Europe into further difficulty.

Germany’s dip follows France, whose second quarter GDP ground to a halt as the UK’s GDP was revised downwards by the Office for National Statistics. Meanwhile, Italy nears default as Europe teeters on an economic precipice.

Both Germany’s Dax and the FTSE100 index dropped on the news, as traders once more doubt the strength of the European bloc.

A sharp rise in imports added downward pressure, whilst a dip in consumption slowed added to the slowdown effect.

Overall annual growth looks positive, with the second quarter’s low figure being 2.8% higher than the same quarter 2010.

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