Greece Economic Slowdown Accelerated in 4Q

Greece’s economic slowdown accelerated in 2011, according to figures released Tuesday by the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority. The report showed that the Greek economy contracted by 7 percent in the fourth quarter as compared with 2010’s final three months. The agency also revised its estimate for third-quarter economic contraction down to 5 percent. Based on Bloomberg calculations, the Greek economy declined by 6.8 percent during the fourth quarter and will contract by 6 percent according to the government’s 2012 budget.

Greece is currently in the midst of a fifth consecutive year of recession, struggling to emerge amid steep austerity measures imposed by agencies such as the European Union and International Monetary Fund as conditions for further assistance. Greek leaders just this week passed a new round of austerity reforms designed to placate the EU and IMF, who have demanded the reforms as a precondition for a second bailout package of 130 billion euros. Without this second bailout, Greece will be unable to come up with the cash for a bond redemption scheduled for next month, essentially resulting in a default.

The has noted that its initial estimate for fourth-quarter growth was based on available, non seasonally adjusted data, and will likely change. The agency also revised previously announced figures for the first and second quarters, showing contraction of 8 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.