Greek economy’s expansion slows in fourth quarter, recovery on track

A cargo ship is moored at the Piraeus Container Terminal, near Athens
FILE PHOTO: A cargo ship is moored at the Piraeus Container Terminal, near Athens, Greece, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

March 7, 2019

By George Georgiopoulos

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s economy shrank slightly in the last three months of 2018 after expanding for nine consecutive quarters, government data showed on Thursday, with the annual pace of growth also slowing.

Seasonally adjusted data released by the country’s statistics service showed gross domestic product contracted by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter from the July-to-September period, compared to a 1.0 percent expansion in the third quarter.

Despite the slight contraction, the data showed Greece’s recovery remains largely on track after a lengthy recession that shrank its economy by a quarter.

On an annual basis, economic expansion decelerated to 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter from a downwardly revised 2.1 percent clip in the previous quarter.

“Private consumption along with net exports were the main drivers but continuing weakness in investment spending – gross capital formation – was a drag,” said National Bank economist Nikos Magginas.

Looking at 2018 as a whole, the data pointed to a 1.9 percent growth rate, slightly below initial estimates.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Source link