IOBE think-tank sees Greek 2019 growth at 1.8 pct, picking up next year

IOBE think-tank sees Greek 2019 growth at 1.8 pct, picking up next year

Greece's economy will expand by up to 1.8 percent this year and pick up next year, stimulated by exports and investment, the country's influential think-tank IOBE said on Thursday, sticking to its previous forecast.

The projection by the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) in its quarterly review is roughly in line with the government's 2 percent estimate for this year. IOBE also projected an expansion rate of 1.8 percent for this year in its July report.

Greece's 180-billion-euro economy is recovering from a multi-year recession and has largely corrected the imbalances of its twin deficits – its fiscal derailment and the current account gap.

It grew 1.9 percent in 2018, the year the country emerged from its third and last bailout. The government, which came to power in July, is keen on accelerating growth via promised tax cuts and investment-friendly policies.

IOBE said economic expansion will pick up to 2.3-2.5 percent next year thanks to those policies, exports and planned privatizations. Athens sees the economy growing 2.8 percent in 2020.

The country's gross domestic product expanded by 0.8 percent in the second quarter compared with a 0.2 percent growth rate in the first three months of the year.

IOBE also said an expanding economy will create more jobs and help reduce unemployment, which currently stands at 16.9 percent and is the eurozone's highest. The jobless rate is seen dropping to 15.6 percent next year, it said. [Reuters]

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