Greek Economy Shrank in First Quarter as Investment Fell

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.

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