ECONOMY

Economy contracts 6.6 pct; consumption plunges (update)

Plunging private consumption drove the economy deeper into recession in the last quarter of 2010, according to provisional data provided by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

ELSTAT said on Friday that Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 6.6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2010, versus a drop of 5.1 percent in the third quarter.

Private consumption, a key component of the Greek economy, fell 8.6 percent to 39.7 billion euros in the last quarter of 2010, ELSTAT added which means that households spent 1.6 billion euros less than a year earlier.

Investment activity dropped 7.6 percent, pegged back by weak business sentiment and uncertainty over the sovereign debt crisis.

The only bright spot came from exports, which rose 12.8 percent year-on-year to 11.7 billion euros.