Economic reports released on both sides of the Atlantic this week painted very different pictures of how the United States and Europe are recovering from the pandemic. The lesson: Along with vaccines, it pays to unleash enormous amounts of public money in the face of a livelihood-destroying health crisis.

Europe provided less relief and ended up in a so-called double-dip recession in the first three months of the year, a reality confirmed on Friday by an official estimate showing that the eurozone economy contracted by 0.6 percent.

That came a day after the United States disclosed that its economy expanded by 1.6 percent over the same period after substantial public expenditures aimed at stimulating growth.

The recession in the 19 nations that share the euro currency reflects far less aggressive stimulus spending and a botched effort to secure vaccines that has left many major economies contending with continued restrictions on daily…

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