Greek economy contracts by 6.2 pct in Q1

Greece?s economy shrank in the first three months of 2012, the 13th contraction in the past 14 quarters as policy makers struggled to stay in the euro.

Gross domestic product dropped 6.2 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter after contracting 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. The figure is based on non-seasonally adjusted data. The agency didn?t provide a seasonally adjusted figure.

The European Commission forecasts Greece?s economy will contract 4.7 percent this year, its fifth year of a recession compounded by spending cuts and tax increases demanded as a condition for a rescue.

Greece has been in a political impasse since inconclusive May 6 elections left party leaders unable to form a government. The deadlock has raised the possibility of another vote to be held as early as next month, and also raised doubts that Greece can avoid an exit from the euro area. [Bloomberg]