Monday December 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece’s recession eases as country nears end to six-year slump

Marcus Bensasson & Nikos Chrysoloras

Greece’s economy contracted at its slowest pace in almost six years, adding to signs that the country is set for a 2014 exit from its deepest recession in half a century as it emerges from its debt crisis.

Gross domestic product declined 0.2 percent in the three months through June from the same period last year, its 24th straight contraction, after dropping a revised 1.1 percent in the previous quarter, the Athens-based Hellenic Statistical Authority said in an e-mailed statement today. The contraction is the smallest since the third quarter of 2008 and beats the median estimate of a 0.5 percent drop in a Bloomberg survey.

“We’ve had a long-term positive trend,” said Christian Schulz, senior European economist at Berenberg Bank in London. “Whether the confidence can be strong enough to push Greece back into strong growth just yet is open to question. I think Greece will probably this year still have to rely on a positive tourist season.”

Greece’s six-year recession has been deepened by budget cuts tied to 240 billion euros ($321 billion) of loans from the euro area and International Monetary Fund, which have demanded a structural overhaul of the economy in return for bailing out the country’s public finances. The slump has cost Greece about a quarter of its GDP and left it with an unemployment rate of 27.2 percent.

Greece’s data isn’t seasonally adjusted and the country doesn’t publish quarter-on-quarter data.

Russian Tourists

Positive indicators include a rebound in economic sentiment, which in the first half of the year reached its highest level since the start of the crisis. The Association for Greek Tourism Enterprises said yesterday the country is on course to meet its target for tourist arrivals this year, even as the depreciation of the ruble amid European Union sanctions and the situation in Ukraine may mean that Greece will see 200,000 fewer Russian tourists this year than originally expected.

Still, retail sales fell 8.5 percent in June and industrial production dropped 6.7 percent in July, according to data from the statistics agency, showing Greece is not out of the woods yet.

The government’s hopes of exiting recession this year may also hit a stumbling block after Russia banned EU food imports in retaliation for sanctions stemming from the insurgency in Ukraine. Russia is Greece’s biggest trading partner, mostly because of gas and oil exports, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The value of total trade between the two nations reached 9.3 billion euros in 2013, surpassing trade flows between Greece and fellow EU-member Germany.

Reform Agenda

“The priority now is for Greece to take forward the adoption and implementation of the important and far-reaching reforms set out in the program, which are needed to move Greece from stabilization to a sustained recovery in growth and job creation,” European Commission spokesman Simon O’Connor said in an e-mail.

The European Commission forecasts that Greece’s economy will expand 0.6 percent this year, its first annual expansion since 2007, and sees public debt peaking at 177 percent of GDP this year. The country’s primary budget surplus of 0.8 percent of GDP last year commits its euro-area partners to additional debt relief, provided it can convince them that it’s also abiding by the structural economic reforms.

The European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat will tomorrow report second-quarter GDP figures for the whole 18- country euro area, with 37 economists in a Bloomberg News survey expecting it to expand 0.1 percent from the previous quarter, when it grew 0.2 percent.

[Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday August 13, 2014 (12:58)  
Political saga is harming liquidity
Bad timing for tenders as oil rates decline
Tax exemptions deprive state budget of over 3.5 bln euros
Teiresias to track letters of guarantee
Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday presented a compromise solution to end a political stalemate that looks likely to send Greece to early general elections in about a month's time. Spe...
Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
The government over the weekend appeared to backpedal on proposed amendments widely seen as compromising legislation protecting Greek forests as well as Plaka, Athens’s old quarter. The bill...
Inside News
SOCCER
Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
PAOK scraped through its Livadia challenge beating Levadiakos to remain on top of the Super League for Christmas, one point ahead of Olympiakos that enjoyed a great game at Kalloni and offer...
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
Inside Sports
INTERVIEW
‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
He’s treated like a rock star wherever he goes to lecture. His book “Capital in the 21st Century,” a study on income and wealth inequality from the 18th century to the present, recently tran...
COMMENTARY
Who lost Greece
If Greece collapses much will be said about where the fault lies. Sure, we all know the failings of Greek politicians. That said, much of the blame lies with outsiders who pushed Greece beyo...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
2. Political saga is harming liquidity
3. Bad timing for tenders as oil rates decline
4. Tax exemptions deprive state budget of over 3.5 bln euros
5. Teiresias to track letters of guarantee
6. Agenda
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
2. Who lost Greece
3. ‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
4. Snubbing the moderates
5. Agenda
6. Teiresias to track letters of guarantee
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. High stakes
5. On the edge but not gutless
6. Girl, aged 11, gives birth on Crete
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.