As France and Germany underperform, 18-country eurozone shows zero growth in second quarter

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Europe's shaky economic recovery ground to a halt in the second quarter amid fears over the crisis in Ukraine and softer trade and investment.

The main reasons behind the flat outcome for the 18-country eurozone was a 0.2 percent quarterly decline in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, and a second straight quarter of zero growth in France, the No. 2 economy.

The outcome reported by the European Union's statistics office Thursday was slightly lower than the 0.1 percent growth expectation in the markets.

Economists say fears the Ukraine crisis may escalate are making companies hesitate to invest and consumers to postpone spending. A lack of economic reforms in France has also played a role. So did a mild German winter that shifted construction from the second quarter to the first.