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Greek Economy Loses Steam in Q4, Recovery on Course

Syntagma Square, Athens. Photo source: ACVB

Greek economic growth slowed down in the last quarter of 2018, failing to meet the target, and following nine consecutive quarters of positive performance, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Thursday.

Overall in 2018, the economy expanded by 1.9 percent, on the back of 2.1 percent growth in the first nine months of the year, but slightly below forecasts for 2.1 percent all year.

Greece’s GDP (gross domestic product) came to 190.8 billion euros at the end of 2018 from 187.2 billion euros a year earlier.

More specifically, GDP grew by 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier, and shrank by 0.1 percent compared to the third quarter during which it had expanded by 1 percent.

However, despite the slower growth, experts expect the country’s economic recovery to stay on track, noting that the deceleration in Q4 is mainly due to a decline in fixed investments.

According to analysts speaking to Reuters, growth was driven primarily by private consumption and net exports but hindered by frail investment spending.

A closer look in the 4th quarter reveals a decline in total final consumption expenditure by 0.2 percent against Q3; fixed investments down by 3.6 percent; exports of goods and services up by 1.8 percent; imports of goods and services down by 7.8 percent against Q3.

In relevant news, unemployment in December – according to ELSTAT data – eased to 18.0 percent from 18.3 percent in November, the lowest since July 2011, but still the highest among eurozone countries.

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