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Greek Economy Growing Stronger Thanks to Investments

Stronger investment has boosted Greece’s economy for a fourth consecutive quarter in the October-December 2017 period, albeit at a slower pace, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Monday.

According to ELSTAT seasonally adjusted data, gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, easing up from 0.4 percent in July-September.

On the downside, net exports slowed down in the final quarter of 2017 combined with a 0.4 percent drop in private consumption, while imports marked a 1.7 percent increase.

Greek authorities are betting on a stronger economy to pull the country out of the crisis and away from the bailouts with the current aid program set to end in August.

“The full-year performance was slightly weaker than official forecasts of 1.6 percent,” National Bank economist Nikos Magginas told Reuters, adding that the key driver was investment spending due to a normal for the season decline in tourism.

Magginas also noted that weaker-than-expected consumer spending demonstrated that the “financial condition of households is still fragile”. 

Some large-scale investments completed or underway include Calamos, Morgan Stanley, Avis and ONEX. At the same time, Greece’s lenders and the government are estimating that privatization projects including major tourism projects, the long-delayed development of Hellinikon and the Egnatia Odos motorway in northern Greece, will boost state coffers by some 2 billion euros this year. 

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