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Greece Revises Debt Forecasts Up In Draft Budget

Predictions of a primary deficit surplus â¿¿ which strips out the cost of paying interest on outstanding debt â¿¿ of a modest 1.1 percent have also been revised downwards, with the projection now standing at 0.4 percent for next year.

The recession, meanwhile, will be deeper than the 3.8 percent contraction the preliminary draft had predicted, with the new figures estimating the economy will shrink by 4.5 percent.

Unemployment is projected at 22.8 percent next year, marginally higher than the 22.4 percent predicted for 2012. Greece registered record unemployment in July this year, with the jobless rate reaching 25.1 percent.

National debt will stand at ⿬346.2 billion, slightly higher than this year's ⿬340.6 billion, the revised budget showed.

The economy is forecast to gradually clawing its way out of the recession and eventually post growth of 3.5 percent in 2016.

____

Nicholas Paphitis and Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Don Melvin in Brussels and Juergen Baetz in Berlin contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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