November 14, 2014 / 10:37 AM / 3 years ago

Greece's economy emerged from recession in first quarter

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s economy emerged from a prolonged austerity-led recession as early as the first quarter this year and expanded in the next two quarters as well, data showed on Friday.

People look at a shop window at a central market street of Athens November 8, 2014. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

This is the first time published data has shown Greece emerging from the crippling recession it sank into when its debt crisis exploded, forcing the country to seek aid from foreign lenders.

The flash estimate on gross domestic product based on seasonally adjusted data showed the 182 billion euro economy expanding by 0.8 percent in the first quarter - the first time the economy has expanded since the second quarter of 2009.

It then expanded 0.3 percent in the second quarter and 0.7 percent over the July to September period.

Based on seasonally unadjusted data, the economy grew 1.7 percent from the same period a year earlier - above the average forecast of 1.3 percent growth according to economists polled by Reuters.

Greece’s economic boom of the early 2000s ended with the country sinking into a recession after a global credit crunch. A subsequent debt crisis and austerity imposed by EU/IMF lenders who bailed out the country deepened the recession, wiping out a quarter of the economy over six years.

Athens and its EU/IMF international lenders project the economy will grow 0.6 percent this year.

This is the first time that Greece has provided seasonally adjusted data since 2011, when it started publishing only the annual pace of changes rather than quarter-on-quarter GDP data.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos, editing by Deepa Babington

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