* IOBE sees 4.6 pct recession, slightly deeper than govt
* Projects unemployment to rise to 27.3 pct in 2013
* Inflation to slow to 1.0 pct
ATHENS, Jan 10 Greece's economy will contract by
4.6 percent this year, the influential think tank IOBE
projected, taking a slightly more pessimistic view than the
government and the country's lenders.
Athens is pushing through more austerity prescribed by its
international lenders to shore up its finances, which is
expected to keep its economy in recession for a sixth
consecutive year and push record unemployment to new highs.
"The economy is entering 2013 with the prospect of a milder
but continuing recession. The main cause is the drop in private
consumption, which feeds three quarters of gross domestic
product (GDP)," the Foundation for Economic and Industrial
Research (IOBE) said in its latest quarterly report.
It said austerity measures including increased taxes and
cuts in public sector pay and pensions would have a negative
impact on purchasing power, weighing on consumption.
The government projects an economic contraction of 4.5
percent this year after an estimated 6.5 percent slump in 2012,
while the European Union and the International Monetary Fund
bailing out the country expect a contraction of 4.2 percent.
IOBE said that quarterly GDP growth rates would begin
turning positive by the end of 2013 or in early 2014.
"The determining factor for the beginning of recovery will
be investments -- public works, investment that will result from
privatisations and capital inflows from abroad," IOBE said.
It projected that a further drop in imports will lead to a
surplus in the trade balance which could have a positive impact
The think tank expects unemployment to rise further to 27.3
percent this year as the recession drags on.
Data released on Thursday showed further evidence of the
economic malaise as unemployment climbed to a new record of 26.8
percent in October. The rate among youth aged 15-24 also touched
a new record of 56.6 percent.
The report also forecast that inflation would slow further
this year to average out at 1.0 percent, due to weak consumer