Positive signs for growth in Greece

The Greek economy is expected to grow by 2 percent year-on-year in 2019, according to a survey released by Greece’s National Bank, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Thursday.

According to the report of one of Greece’s largest banks, accelerating private consumption – on the back of increasing disposable income and declining unemployment – and higher investment offsetting the losses from slowing external demand, were the main factors behind the growth.

Greece’s GDP recorded an expansion of 1.6 percent year-on-year in Q4 of 2018, a 7th consecutive quarter of positive growth, bringing annual growth in 2018 to 1.9 percent, the report said.

Net exports were the main driver of economic activity. Goods exports increased by 8.4 percent year-on-year in 2018, remaining on a steady upward trend for a 9th consecutive year, the survey said.

Private consumption expanded steadily by one percent on average in 2018, reflecting the strong increase in employment last year which led to a decrease in the unemployment rate to 18 percent by year end.

Greece’s economy contracted sharply during the debt crisis of the past decade and the country was supported with three bailout programs to stay afloat and in the euro zone. After a long series of painful austerity measures and reforms Greece has returned to growth.