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Recession here: Greece economy shrank by 5.3% in 1Q of 2013

Greece’s economic output fell by 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to a year earlier, according to figures published the Hellenic Statistical Authority on Wednesday.  The Greek economy, which has been in recession since 2008, is expected to shrink by about 4.5 percent of GDP this year, due to 17 million tourists expected to visit the debt-ridden country.

“Greece’s economy shrank 5.3 percent in the first quarter as expected, data showed on Wednesday, as austerity measures demanded by the country’s foreign lenders continued to pummel consumption and investment.

The seasonally unadjusted data showed the recession – now in its sixth year – eased slightly from the 5.7 percent slump in the fourth quarter of 2012. Analysts polled by Reuters had also projected a 5.3 percent decline in economic output.

Greece has benefited from growing optimism over its future in recent months as fears of a euro zone exit fade, but its underlying economy has shown few signs of a recovery and unemployment remains at a record level of 27 percent.

“The data provides no signal of a bottoming out of the recession,” said economist Platon Monokroussos at Eurobank.

“However, the recent bounce in economic sentiment and a strong tourism season are expected to lead to a gradual improvement in GDP dynamics in the coming quarters.”

On Tuesday, ratings agency Fitch upgraded its sovereign credit rating for Greece by one notch, citing the country’s progress in cutting its budget deficit.

That has helped push bond yields to a three-year low and the stock market also surged to a nearly two-year high on Wednesday.

Data on quarter-on-quarter changes were not provided.

The economy is seen contracting 4.2 to 4.5 percent this year before it starts to recover in 2014, based on European Commission and government forecasts. It slumped 6.4 percent last year.” (via Reuters)

PS But the Greek government looks forward for a bright economic future 🙂

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