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More gloom for Greece as unemployment, GDP figures released

The Greek economy contracted by 6.4 percent in 2012, its fourth consecutive full year of recession, according to data released Thursday.

Greece’s unemployment rate in November rose to 27 percent from 26.6 percent in the previous month, according to data released Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) that also confirmed 2012 was another year of recession for the debt-hit country.

Unemployment in Greece was more than double the eurozone's average rate of 11.7 percent in November as an austerity-fueled recession continued to take its toll on the labor market.

More than 300,000 Greeks lost their jobs between November 2011 and November 2012, when the unemployment rate reached 27 percent.

ELSTAT said that the jobless rate rose by 6.2 percentage points from November 2011, when it was 20.8 percent.

Unemployment in Greece is now roughly double what it was at the beginning of 2010.

Ôhe number of unemployed came to 1,350,181 in November 2012 as 323,808 people had lost their jobs in the previous 12 months; a rate of 887 a day.

There as a small drop in the number of inactive people, who reached 3,339,982, slightly higher than the number of employed, which stood at 3,642,102 in November.

The highest rate of unemployment is in the 15 to 24 age group, where it stands at 61.7 percent.

This is followed by the 25 to 34 age group with 36.2 percent.

Deep recession

Meanwhile, the Greek economy shrank by 6 percent in the last quarter of 2012 compared to a year earlier, according to the same data.

The preliminary data from ELSTAT confirms that 2012 was another year of deep recession for Greece, with the year’s three other quarters all showing the economy had contracted substantially. However, the rate of contraction in the fourth quarter was slightly slower then earlier in the year.

In Q1, the economy shrank by 6.7 percent, in Q2 it was 6.4 percent and in Q3 it rose to 6.7 percent.

Combined, the data suggests that the Greek economy contracted by 6.4 percent in 2012, its fourth consecutive full year of recession.

The Finance Ministry had forecast a contraction of 6.5 percent for 2012. The troika had expected the economy to shrink by 6 percent.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday February 14, 2013 (13:17)  
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