Tourism helps slow Greek recession in 2nd quarter

ATHENS, Greece High tourism revenues helped Greece's battered economy shrink less than initially estimated in April-June, making a projected exit from recession next year more likely.

The country's statistical authority said Friday that the second quarter contraction was 3.8 percent, considerably better than last month's flash estimate of 4.8 percent.

The authority said the revision was based on data not available when the preliminary estimate was issued. These included a 5.3 percent turnover increase in accommodation and food services in April-June -- compared to a 21 percent fall a year earlier -- and a strong improvement in the external trade deficit.

Debt-crippled Greece is in a sixth year of recession, which hit a contraction of 9 percent in late 2010. The downturn was exacerbated by harsh austerity measures demanded by bailout creditors.

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