ELSTAT confirms return to recession

Greece’s economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter, the country’s statistics service ELSTAT said n Friday, confirming a preliminary estimate earlier in the month. The data showed that the economy slipped back into recession as political turmoil put the brakes on a fragile recovery.

Greece’s economy emerged from a six-year recession last year but has struggled in recent months as political turbulence returned toward the end of last year, triggering early elections that brought the anti-austerity leftists to power.

The contraction over January-to-March, based on the second reading of seasonally adjusted data, followed a 0.4 percent decline in the final quarter of last year.

Year-on-year, seasonally adjusted GDP grew 0.4 percent, with the final reading revised up from a previous estimate of 0.3 percent but slowing from a 1.3 percent annual growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2014.