ECONOMY

Contraction up to 15% in first quarter

contraction-up-to-15-in-first-quarter

Economists at Greek banks expect the economy to contract between 10.5% and 15% in the first quarter of this year, with the extent of the recession to be determined by how long retail stores remain open, they say. However, the economy will stage a strong recovery in the latter half of the year, taking the sum of 2021 well into positive territory.

The latest estimates for the year as a whole range between just under 4% and 5%, with the government forecast being 4.8%.

The Center for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) estimates that the contraction in the last quarter of 2020 will come to 14% year-on-year, followed this quarter by a 10.4% contraction. The state budget provides for an 11.4% economic decline in January-March.

National Bank puts the contraction at 10.5% this quarter, with a growth rate of around 4-5% for the year seen feasible. Alpha Bank argues that the annual private consumption drop in the last quarter of 2020 was not as strong as in the April-June period.

Eurobank expects growth at 5% this year, while Piraeus Bank forecasts the economy will expand 4.5% after a 12% contraction in Q1.