ECONOMY

IOBE trims Greek 2019 economic growth forecast to 1.8 pct

iobe-trims-greek-2019-economic-growth-forecast-to-1-8-pct

Greece’s economy will continue to recover at a moderate clip of around 1.8 percent this year, the influential Greek think-tank IOBE predicted on Wednesday, trimming a previous forecast.

The new forecast by the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research in its quarterly review is close to the central bank’s 1.9 percent projected rate. It previously saw an expansion rate of 2.0 percent.

Greece’s economy is recovering from a 10-year recession. It has to a large extent corrected the imbalances of its twin deficits – its fiscal derailment and the current account gap.

The 180 billion euro economy grew at an annual 1.9 percent last year as the country emerged from its third and last bailout program in August 2018.

The economy’s annual expansion pace decelerated to 1.3 percent in this year’s first quarter from a downwardly revised 1.5 percent in the previous quarter.

IOBE predicted that Greece’s unemployment rate, the highest in the eurozone at 18.1 percent in March, will decline at a slower pace this year to settle slightly below 18 percent. It predicted stronger job growth in export sectors. [Reuters]