Greek Economy to Return to Growth End 2013, Research Group Says

Greece’s economy will show first signs of growth between the end of this year and the beginning of 2014, the Athens-based Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research said.

The economy will shrink by about 4.6 percent in 2013 after contracting by an estimated 6.6 percent in 2012, the foundation, also known as IOBE, said today in its quarterly report on the Greek economy. That compares with a government forecast of 4.5 contraction in gross domestic product this year and 0.2 percent growth next year.

Unemployment is expected to increase to 27.3 percent in 2013, after a revised 24.5 percent in 2012, IOBE said in an e-mailed statement. Greece’s unemployment rate extended its record high, climbing to 26.8 percent in October, the Greek Statistics Service said today.

Greece is entering its sixth year of recession, after the country’s coalition government imposed a new round of austerity measures in November in exchange for a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The recession and unemployment have worsened amid spending cuts and tax increases aimed at reducing a budget shortfall that was more than five times the euro-area limit in 2009.

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