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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-27

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Report: Greek economy posting strong growth

  • [01] Report: Greek economy posting strong growth

    First indications in 2007 back up a forecast that the Greek economy will grow faster than initial estimates, posting a more than 4.0-pct figure, which means growth for a 14th consecutive year, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) announced on Wednesday.

    In its latest quarterly report on the Greek economy, IOBE said domestic demand and private consumption, in particular, was the main driving force behind strong economic growth rates, despite rising interest rates. Investments have recovered, while exports are rising at a slightly faster pace compared with an increase in imports, IOBE noted.

    "Economic performance in the last few years partly reflect the government's economic policy," the Institute said, adding that despite progress made, the Greek economy still faced serious challenges in the medium-to-long-term outlook, such as higher inflation, high unemployment, a widening current accounts deficit and hurdles in business activity.

    The report said the chronic structural macro-economic weaknesses in the labour and product markets as well as the operation of the wider public sector needed to be addressed as soon as possible to guarantee the growth prospects of the economy. IOBE called for the urgent promotion of effective structural policies so that economic growth would be based more on the production of globally competitive products and services and less on dynamism of domestic demand.

    The Institute recommended a rapid and effective promotion of reforms, maintenance of a fiscal consolidation policy to eliminate deficits and adopting policies aimed at creating a more effective state.

    IOBE stressed that the current year was a pre-election year and "probably an election year", creating worries over the impact of the political cycle on economic performance, while noting that public spending rose faster than forecasts in the first quarter this year.

    The Institute said it expected the inflation rate to fall to 2.7 pct this year and the harmonised inflation rate slightly below 3.0 pct in 2007.

    Caption: ANA-MPA photo / A. BELTES

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