Tourism will help Greek economy grow by 4.5% to 5.0%, think tank IOBE says

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ATHENS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Greece’s economy is expected to grow 4.5% to 5.0% this year under a baseline scenario after an expected rebound of 9.0% to 9.5% in 2021, said the influential think tank IOBE on Monday, raising its previous growth forecast from 4.0% to 4.5% made in October.

“Despite the fact that last year’s base will be higher, we are revising growth up a bit as the economy is showing strong momentum,” IOBE Director Nikos Vettas said.

Last year, the economy relied on the resilience of the tourism sector, with revenues jumping 76.6% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2021, he said.

In its base case, the think tank expects another strong performance this year with tourism revenue reaching 80% to 90% of the record set in 2019.

The think tank’s projection is slightly higher than the government’s growth forecast of 4.5% for this year.

The planned expansion will help bring unemployment down to an average of 13.5% next year, the IOBE said.

Consumer inflation, which reached an annual level of 5.1% in December, mainly due to rising energy costs, is expected to slow to 1.5%-2.0% in 2022.

“This rate of inflation is not something the economy can’t handle,” Vettas said. (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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