Updated official data show Greece's economy shrank at a slightly slower pace than initially forecast in the last quarter of 2012.

But the Greek economy still contracted by 6.4% during the year.

Greece, which is dependent on bailout loans to survive, is in its sixth year of recession, which has been exacerbated by harsh austerity measures demanded by creditors to curb runaway budget deficits.

The country's statistical authority, Elstat, said today that the Greek economy shrank 5.7% in the three months from October to December 2012, compared to a year earlier.

This was slightly better than earlier estimates of 6%.

Greece's economy has contracted by more than a fifth since 2008, and is expected to have shrunk by 25% before the country is expected to start recovering during the latter part of this year.