Greek economy to grow 3.6% this year, finance ministry plans


Greece’s economy is expected to grow 3.6% this year, less than previously estimated, but the rebound will accelerate in 2022 to reach 6.2%, the finance ministry said.

Greece, which only emerged from a decade of financial crisis in 2018, saw its economy collapse 8.2% last year amid restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the COVID pandemic. 19 and a collapse in tourism revenues.

The latest forecast, presented at a cabinet meeting by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, is more in line with the European Commission projection in February, which projects the Greek economy to grow 3.5% this year.

It is more than a percentage point below a clip of 4.8% expansion forecast in this year’s budget and also below a 4.2% rebound the central bank estimated earlier this month. -this.

The main objectives of the Ministry of Finance, as presented to the cabinet, will be to see Greece exit enhanced EU surveillance by 2022 and achieve the investment grade on its sovereign debt by the first half of 2023 .

Greece was reclassified to “BB” from “BB-” on Friday by Standard & Poor’s, the upgrade one notch reflecting hopes for a rapid improvement in the country’s economic and fiscal performance as the impacts of the pandemic diminish.

The finance ministry told cabinet it was aiming for improved public finances from next year and “satisfactory” primary budget surpluses from 2023.

Greek public finances have been strained by falling revenues and much higher spending to mitigate the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Last year, he reported a primary fiscal gap of 6.7 percent of gross domestic product, the first primary budget deficit after consecutive years of surpluses.

The general government budget deficit reached 9.7% of economic output last year after a surplus of 1.1% in 2019.
Source: Reuters (Report by George Georgiopoulos edited by Gareth Jones)

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