Growth estimates for this year slide anew


National Bank analysts estimate that Greece’s growth rate this year will not exceed 2 percent, below government and creditor forecasts, as they expect that the slowdown in the eurozone will impact the Greek economy via exports.

This figure is in line with the views of other analysts in Athens, sources say. The government projected 2.5 percent growth this year in the 2019 budget, while the International Monetary Fund said in its first post-program report that the Greek economy will expand by 2.4 percent, and a few days earlier the European Commission had reiterated its winter estimates for 2.2 percent growth.

National Bank’s analysts counter that growth this year will be similar to last year’s 1.9 percent advance. Their report points to a considerable slowdown in the growth of exports of goods and services to 3.5 percent from 8.8 percent last year, mainly because of the slowdown in the eurozone economy. There will also be an increase in imports by 4.4 percent, from 2.9 percent in 2018, due to strengthening domestic demand.

Investment will grow 10.6 percent on an annual basis, but this will be after the “negative surprise” of the 12 percent contraction recorded in 2018, according to the bank’s report.