ATHENS, Greece: Greece’s ailing economy contracted by 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 in an annual comparison, provisional data from the state statistics agency showed on Monday.
The agency said the contraction was slightly lower than the previous estimate of 6.0 percent for the fourth quarter announced a month ago.
Combined with contraction data given for the first, second and third quarters, Greece’s economy shrank by 6.4 percent in 2012.
This is slightly better than the 6.5 percent estimate contained in Greece’s current budget.
The 2013 budget forecasts another contraction of 4.5 percent this year before the economy limps back into growth in 2014.
In 2011, Greece’s economy shrank by 7.1 percent. Overall, it has contracted by more than a fifth since 2008.
The coalition government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has made achieving growth its top priority as the nation struggles to meet its commitments to international creditors.