NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Standard & Poor's Rating Services on Tuesday pared down its economic forecast for the euro zone in 2012 and 2013 in response to indicators that "paint a bleak picture" for the region. "The data are confirming our view that the region is entering a new period of recession, after three quarters of negative or flat growth since the final quarter of 2010," according to Jean-Michel Six, the rating agency's chief economist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "But prospects continue to vary from country to country." S&P said it now expects a drop of 0.8% in euro-zone GDP in 2012 and flat growth in 2013, compared to its July projection of a 0.7% GDP dip in 2012 and 0.3% growth in 2013.
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