Greece: Growth stutters in Q4
February 14, 2017
Growth in Greece’s crisis-hit economy stalled in the fourth quarter after recording the best performance seen since Q1 2008 in Q3. According to an advance estimate released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) on 14 February, GDP rose a meagre 0.2% in Q4 compared to the same period of the previous year (Q3: +2.2% year-on-year). The result undershot market analysts’ expectations of a 0.6% expansion.
On a quarterly basis, GDP contracted 0.4% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which contrasted the previous quarter’s 0.9% increase. The flash GDP data did not include a breakdown by components, which will be released along with more complete GDP figures on 6 March.
The weak Q4 reading underscores the challenging state of the Greek economy. A strong recovery has yet to materialize despite numerous reforms and bailouts. Government finances are depleted and a successful review of the country’s bailout is vital to unlock fresh funds from its creditors before a heavy debt repayment load in July. However, the government is at odds with its lenders over required reforms and the sustainability of the country’s debt load.