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Greek Economy Shrank in First Quarter as Investment Fell

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s economy contracted for an 19th straight quarter in the first three months of this year as consumption and investment declined.

Gross domestic product fell a revised 5.6 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 5.7 percent drop in the fourth quarter, according to an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority. The drop is more than a May 15 initial estimate of 5.3 percent.

GDP declined 6.4 percent in 2012 and the International Monetary Fund said in a report this week it will contract 4.2 percent this year before output expands in 2014. That contrasts with the view of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which forecasts a seventh year of recession for Greece in 2014, with output shrinking 1.2 percent.

Gross fixed capital formation dropped 11.4 percent from a year earlier, while final consumption expenditure was down 8.3 percent. Greece’s external trade deficit shrank 22.9 percent in the first quarter as imports dropped 7.8 percent.

The first-quarter contraction, which is based on available non-seasonally adjusted data, is the smallest annual decline since the third quarter of 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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