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Greek economy contracts at slowest rate since 2008

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s economy is shrinking at its slowest rate in nearly six years.

Official figures Wednesday from the Statistical Authority show that Greece’s economy was only 0.2 percent smaller in the second quarter than it had been a year earlier – the lowest since the third quarter of 2008.

In the first quarter, it was 1.1 percent smaller, slightly worse than previously thought.

After six years of recession brought on by the global financial crisis and Greece’s homegrown debt problems, many economists are predicting modest growth in the second half of 2014.

Since the recession started in 2008, Greece’s economy has shrunk by around a quarter, partly because the government had to impose tough austerity measures, such as spending cuts and tax hikes, in return for international bailout loans.