EU says eurozone economy to shrink again in 2013
Chris Williamson, economist with London-based Markit, welcomed the likely flexibility.
‘‘This will clearly help to ease some of the political and social tensions that are apparent in the peripheral countries of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece,’’ Williamson said.
Greece has faced the toughest hurdles and the Commission forecasts for the country show it’s still got a struggle ahead.
The country is expected to shrink 4.4 percent this year — Greece’s sixth year in recession — before posting growth of 0.6 percent in 2014.
One bright spot is that the Commission expects Greece to achieve a primary budget surplus — whereby revenues are higher than spending excluding interest payments — sometime this year. However, given the depth of its recession, Greece’s debt burden will rise from 162 percent of annual GDP in 2012 to 175 percent this year and next.
Juergen Baetz can be reached on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jbaetz