BRUSSELS (AFP) - A grim forecast for East Asia and news of a deeper than feared recession in the eurozone unsettled investors Tuesday and revived fears the current downturn has longer to run. Following a World Bank report that East Asia would see a sharp drop in growth this year, preventing millions from escaping poverty, there was a spate of disappointing data from Europe. British manufacturing output recorded its largest annual decline in 28 years, 13.8 percent, in February, when it fell for the 12th straight month. The Eurostat statistics agency said the 16-nation eurozone suffered a 1.6 percent contraction in fourth quarter 2008, a weaker performance that the 1.5 percent reported in March. The negative European GDP numbers were worse than expected, said Manus Cranny, markets commentator at MF Global Spreads in London. They are a stark reminder that 2009-2010 is going to be an incredibly tough year. Worryingly, it is far from inconceivable that the eurozone GDP contraction was even deeper in the first quarter of 2008, given largely dire data and survey evidence, warned IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer. The World Bank in another study meanwhile forecast that Ukraines economy would shrink 9.0 percent this year and warned that government mishandling of anti-crisis measures could make things even worse. The ratings agency Fitch said it had placed the long- and short-term debt ratings of another former Soviet state, Georgia, on its negative watch list. The agency warned that domestic political tensions could hamper efforts to boost confidence and revive momentum despite substantial international financial aid. In Ireland, the first eurozone economy to fall into recession, the government was to unveil an emergency budget to counter a double-digit unemployment rate and prospects for a 6.75 percent growth contraction this year. Prime Minister Brian Cowen has said the budget, including tax hikes and spending cuts, will be only a first step on a painful austerity path. There is no silver bullet ... that solves the problem overnight, warned Cowen. As investors took in Mondays news that Japan plans to spend 100 billion dollars on new stimulus measures to boost Asias biggest economy, the countrys central bank said it would hold its super-low 0.1 percent lending rate. The Australian Reserve Bank meanwhile cut its benchmark rate by a quarter point to a 49-year low of 3.0 percent, noting that the effects of economic stimulus measures in major countries were not yet discernible. Regional market sentiment was dented Tuesday following the World Banks projection that developing nations in East Asia faced a pronounced slowdown in economic growth and a painful surge in unemployment. Economic growth will slow to 5.3 percent in 2009, down from 8.0 percent last year and 11.4 percent in 2007, the Bank said in a report on the region which excludes Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. In December, it had forecast growth of 6.7 percent this year. The world Bank said however that there have been tentative signs the all-important Chinese economy might be stabilising thanks to Beijings huge stimulus spending package, with a recovery likely to begin this year and take full hold in 2010. Nonetheless, an additional one million people according to official data became unemployed in the region over the year to January, leaving about 24m without work. In reality the situation is even worse, the Bank said. Recent numbers are likely to be only the beginning of a painful surge in unemployment throughout the region, it concluded. The crisis means that 10 million more people in the region will remain in poverty in 2009 than was expected just a year ago.