The Greek ministry for Economy and Development has issued its Economic Outlook Bulletin for March-April 2018 titled “From recovery to growth”. According to the report, the main economic trend is the high growth rate of private productive investments, ie gross fixed capital formation, which closed the fourth quarter of 2017 with an annual increase of 28.9%. Overall, in 2017, the Greek economy left behind its nine years of recession and stagnation, marking the second consecutive year of investment recovery -something that hasn´t happened since 2007. In August 2018, as the current Economic Adjustment Programme ends, the country exits the Memoranda and the close supervision of creditors, having achieved a correction of macroeconomic imbalances (fiscal & external balance), with enhanced market confidence and a view to preserving remarkable medium-term growth rates (estimated around 1.9-2.3%). These conclusions are corroborated by the following:
(i) Positive annual growth rates of real GDP were recorded for four consecutive trimesters in 2017.
(ii)The course of implementation of agreed reforms continues smoothly.
(iii)The last two reviews were completed on time and a successful completion of the Programme is expected by all involved.
(iv)Our gradual return to the markets -with a view to create a cash buffer- has been successful.
(v)The positive stress tests results for the Greek banks.
(vi)The country’s credit rating has been upgraded by rating agencies.
The report is structured in four chapters: “From Recovery to Growth”, “Constant improvement of investment climate”, “Public Sector: the issue is efficiency and not size”, and “New Development Law: A New Perspective on the State and Entrepreneurship”. Greece is expected to maintain high growth rates in investments that after a 9.5 pct annual growth rate in 2017 and double-digit growth rates in 2018 and 2019 forecasted by the European Commission.
As news site Greek Travel Pages reports: “According to the bulletin, the forecast is based on a number of factors including shrinking government debts, the relaxation of capital controls and a reduction in bad loans. Other factors leading to favorable conditions include the government’s development strategy which covers infrastructure, business environment, strengthening the country’s export capacity, attracting foreign investment, creating more jobs, strengthening strategic sectors of the economy and developing new small and medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, the upward trend is encouraged by improving consumer confidence and increasing deposits, which went from 119 billion euros in April 2017 to 126 billion euros in March 2018.”