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Surprise! Greek Economy Shrinking Faster Than Expected

What a surprise: The Greek economy yet again is going to be in “worse than expected” shape, shrinking almost 4 percent next year instead of staying flat like all those highly qualified, well trained economists at the IMF thought. The WSJ has the story:

Greece’s economy will contract more than projected in 2013, its sixth year of recession, under the weight of the next round of austerity measures demanded by international creditors, according to a draft budget the government will submit to parliament Monday, two senior officials said.

The Greek government sees the economy contracting at an annual rate of 3.8% next year, a senior government official said, in line with private-sector economists’ expectations and suggesting that earlier forecasts from Greece’s international creditors were overly optimistic.

In the spring, the European Commission, which backs Greece’s bailout along with the International Monetary Fund, estimated a zero growth rate for the country next year, suggesting it would be poised for a modest recovery after its depression-era-like contraction.

We think ancient Roman augurs who saw the future by inspecting the entrails of sacrificial sheep would do about as well in predicting Greece’s finances. And they would have been a lot cheaper.

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