Alpha Bank sees GDP drop of 1-2.5 percent

People are seen walking past the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, in downtown Athens in this file photo. One of the country’s leading commercial banks, Alpha, said yesterday the economic recession will be deeper than what the government has estimated. Alpha Bank said it sees the country’s 250-billion-euro economy contracting by an annual rate of between 1.5 to 2.5 percent this year versus the government’s estimates of a drop in growth of 0.30 percent. ‘The need to substantially improve public finances implies much lower public and private consumption growth in 2010, which may offset the expected increase in investment and exports,’ the lender said in an economic report. Last year, Greece’s economy contracted by 2 percent.