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Eurozone awaits official drop into recession

A worker is seen at an empty Madrid Atocha train station, during a general strike in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances as a general strike in Spain against austerity measures and economic reforms began. The General Workers Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being heeded by nearly 100 percent of workers Wednesday in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

BRUSSELS (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.