Q3 growth big­ger than thought

GDP ex­panded by 1.6 per­cent year-on-year, sea­son­ally ad­justed fig­ures show, bring­ing 2015 tar­get closer

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY SOTIRIS NIKAS

The provisional sea­son­ally ad­justed statis­tics for the Greek econ­omy in the third quar­ter put an­nual growth at 1.6 per­cent, against an orig­i­nal es­ti­mate for 1.4 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment pub­lished yes­ter­day by the Hel­lenic Sta­tis­ti­cal Au­thor­ity.

Given the new data, which in­cor­po­rate fig­ures that weren’t avail­able two weeks ago when ELSTAT is­sued its first es­ti­mate, the coun­try’s econ­omy ex­panded by 0.6 per­cent in the first nine months of the year, al­ready at­tain­ing the rate that the gov­ern­ment had set as a tar­get for the whole year.

Con­se­quently Fi­nance Min­istry of­fi­cials es­ti­mate that it is very likely the bud­get tar­get of 0.6 per­cent growth in 2014 will be ex­ceeded, cre­at­ing much more fa- vor­able con­di­tions for the at­tain­ment of the 2.9 per­cent GDP ex­pan­sion tar­get next year.

Of­fi­cials add that this bet­terthan-ex­pected GDP course con­sti­tutes a vi­tal ar­gu­ment in the gov­ern­ment’s tough ne­go­ti­a­tions with the cred­i­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives. The lat­ter have said that the 2.9 per­cent growth fore­cast is an op­ti­mistic one, but the min­istry coun­ters that this year’s out­per­for­mance will con­tinue into 2015, mak­ing the tar­get very much at­tain­able.

The 1.6 per­cent growth was based on a num­ber of fac­tors that ELSTAT ac­counted for: The an­nual rise in con­sump­tion by 2 per­cent in the third quar­ter of this year, with pri­vate con­sump­tion ris­ing 3.1 per­cent while state con­sump­tion fell 2.4 per­cent; the in­crease in ex­ports by 8.6 per­cent to 14.3 bil­lion euros from 13.2 bil­lion in Q3 of 2013; the 2.9 per­cent rise in im­ports to reach 14.6 bil­lion euros, against 14.2 bil­lion a year ear­lier; and the growth in gross fixed cap­i­tal for­ma­tion by 1 per­cent to come to 5.1 bil­lion euros, even though to­tal in­vest­ments shrank 17.7 per­cent.

On a quar­terly ba­sis, GDP rose by 0.7 per­cent from the sec­ond quar­ter, while the in­crease from the first to the sec­ond quar­ter had amounted to 0.4 per­cent, the sea­son­ally ad­justed fig­ures showed.

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