ATHENS, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Greek economy was heading towards recovery, the country's finance minister said on Thursday, citing government estimates according to which the economy expanded in the second quarter.
"Based on available evidence, the economy expanded in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, at least for the first time since the start of the crisis, according to seasonally adjusted data," Stournaras said in a conference speech.
"For the first time, we are estimating that GDP expanded quarter-on-quarter," he said.
Greece's statistics agency does not report seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter GDP data. According to seasonally unadjusted data it published earlier this month, the Greek economy contracted by 3.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter.
Stournaras, however, stopped short of saying that the country was already out of its six-year recession.
"Indicators are showing a trend in the Greek economy, towards a smaller recession and slowly towards recovery," he said.
Speaking to Reuters earlier on Thursday, Stournaras confirmed that he expects the Greek economy to shrink by about 3.8 percent in the full year, less than a previously estimated 4.2 percent contraction.