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DEPRESSION ERA

Greece’s collapse is officially worse than the US Great Depression

A woman watches the super moon rising in the sky, in front of the Apollo's temple at ancient Corinth, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Athens, on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. The phenomenon, which scientists call a "perigee moon," occurs when the moon is near the horizon and appears larger and brighter than other full moons. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
Greece’s economy looks close to entering a new phase.
By Matt Phillips
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Greece’s GDP shrank by a mere 0.2% in the second quarter. While still a decline, it’s the smallest drop since the third quarter of 2008—which means that after 24 consecutive quarters of economic contraction, the Greek recession’s end might finally be at a hand.

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Don’t expect any wild celebrations in the streets of Athens anytime soon, though. The Greek economy has been through hell over the last few years. Unemployment is an atrocious 27%. And roughly 25% of the economy has been destroyed since the peak in late 2007.

That collapse in economic output puts the Greek recession right up there with the worst depressions in recent memory. At its trough in the first quarter of 2014—which was revised lower in today’s report—the decline in Greek GDP was roughly 33% from the peak. That’s actually worse than the US peak-to-trough GDP decline of 27% between 1929 and 1933, during the most acute phase of the Great Depression.

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