ECONOMY

Greek economy shrank by 4.6% in 2013 Q2, 20th straight quarter of contraction

Greece’s economy shrank by 4.6 percent of gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2013, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Monday.

This was the 20th consecutive quarter of negative growth for Greece. The economy had contracted by 5.6 percent in the first quarter.

Last week, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras insisted that the economy would shrink by about 4 percent overall this year. He expects growth to return next year.

Earlier, there was more encouraging news for the government on the fiscal front.

Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said Greece’s central government achieved a primary budget surplus of 2.6 billion euros, or 1.4 percent of GDP, in the first seven months of 2013 against a target for a primary deficit of 3.1 billion euros,

The reading for January to July excludes interest payments and the budgets of local government and social security funds.