Greece: Economic recovery takes a breather

5 min

According to the Greek statistics office Elstat, the economy grew +0.1% q/q in the final quarter of 2017, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of positive economic growth. However, the growth reading failed to meet consensus expectations as private consumption disappointed with a decrease of -0.3% q/q and exports declined by -2.3% q/q despite the favorable European economic backdrop. Meanwhile, investment provided some positive news with a strong gain of +27.8% q/q. For 2017 as a whole, GDP growth now stands at +1.4%, in line with our expectations. In particular the strong increase in investment last year (+15.7%) is good news. However, given the relatively weak end to the year and the rather disappointing performance of private consumption over the course of 2017, our growth forecast of +2.5% for 2018 is now on the ambitious side. With Greece aiming to exit the third bailout program in August 2018, economic momentum will have to pick up again to ensure a smooth full return to international capital markets.