Sunday 22nd October, 2017
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Greek economy sinks back into recession

Greek economy sinks back into recession

Greece has fallen back into recession for the first time since 2012, official figures from Euro­stat show.
 
The country’s gross do­mestic product (GDP) fell by 0.1% in the first three months of the year after shrinking by 1.2% in the fi­nal quarter of 2016.
 
The figures come as Greek unions begin two days of industrial action against cuts to pensions and tax ris­es insisted on by creditors.
 
Greece is still struggling to secure a new bailout from international lenders.
 
Its government hopes the loan payment will be ap­proved by a meeting of eu­rozone finance ministers on 22 May.
 
Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Markit, said Greece’s return to re­cession was largely due to uncertainty over the bailout.
 
“Encouragingly, agree­ment between Greece and its lenders on reforms was agreed in early May,” he said.
 
“With EU creditors now expected to finally sign off on Greece’s latest injection of rescue cash, the Euro­pean Commission expects growth to bounce back to 2.6% this year.”
 
Greek ferries and news services were being disrupt­ed on Tuesday as part of two days of industrial action to protest against a new round of austerity measures.
 
A 24-hour general strike planned on Wednesday is expected to disrupt trans­port and public services.
 
Eurostat said the Europe­an Union as a whole con­tinued to grow in the first quarter, expanding by 2% compared with the same period last year.
 
In the eurozone, annu­al growth came in at 1.7%, with a 0.5% rise for the quar­ter compared with the last three months of 2016.
 
The fastest-growing econ­omies were Latvia, Lithua­nia and Portugal, which ex­panded by 1% in the quarter.
 
Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, posted a 0.6% ex­pansion.

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