Greek economy signals recovery this year


ATHENS: Greece’s economy contracted 3.7% less than expected last year, marking the first time it beat expectations since a debt crisis took hold and bolstering hopes of a recovery this year.
Greece’s gross domestic product has consistently missed the targets set under its EU/IMF bailout, in part due to a bigger-than-expected impact from austerity cuts, making more and more difficult for the country to meet fiscal targets set by lenders and increases pressure for additional spending. austerity measures.
The flash estimate of a 2.6% drop in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter marked the smallest drop in economic output since the second quarter of 2010 on an annual basis.
This means the economy shrank 3.7% last year, below government and EU/IMF forecasts of a 4% contraction and well below an initial estimate of a 4.5% drop. “Fourth quarter data shows that the GDP contraction for the year 2013 was 3.7%, well below initial forecasts,” said Eurobank economist Platon Monokroussos.
“A range of recent data and forward-looking indicators suggest that economic activity has already bottomed out, with a shift to positive growth rates from 2014 now looking like a fairly realistic scenario,” he said. declared.
The unadjusted data follows a 3% drop in production in the third quarter.
The six-year recession has shrunk Greece’s economy by 23% by 182 billion euros and pushed its unemployment rate to a record high of 28% after austerity measures were imposed to shore up public finances.
With the country’s international lenders funding its €240bn bailout, a mild recovery will take hold in 2014, expecting GDP to grow by 0.6%.


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