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Greece: Economy growth meagre in the first quarter, but more than expected

May 29, 2015

In the first quarter of 2015, the economy expanded 0.2% over the same period of the previous year, according to more detailed data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) on 29 May. Q1’s reading marked a significant deceleration from the 1.2% increase tallied in Q4 2014, but came in above the flash estimate of a 0.1% expansion. Q1’s slowdown came largely on the back of a deterioration in the external sector.

On the domestic side of the economy, growth in private consumption slowed from the 1.7% increase in Q4 to a 1.2% expansion in Q1. Fixed investment decelerated from a 29.3% in Q4 to a 23.1% in Q1. In contrast, government consumption improved slightly, contracting 0.2% in Q1, which was an improvement from Q4’s 2.6% fall.

Exports of goods and services rose 0.9% in the first quarter, which was significantly below the 10.8% expansion recorded in the fourth quarter. Imports increased 10.6% in Q1, which was below Q4’s 17.3% expansion. Since the slowdown in exports outpaced imports, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth deteriorated from minus 2.7 percentage points in the fourth quarter to minus 3.1 percentage points in the first quarter.

The economy fell 0.2% over the previous quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms in Q1, which followed the 0.4% contraction recorded in Q4 and matched the flash estimate’s figure.

The government expects the economy to grow 2.9% in 2015. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see the economy growing 0.4% in 2015, which is down 0.1 percentage points over last month’s forecast. For 2016, the panel expects growth of 2.2%.


Author: Angela Bouzanis, Senior Economist

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Greece GDP Q1 2015 0

Note: Year-on-year changes of GDP in %
Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.


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