Greece: Economy moving in the right direction

5 min
Katharina Utermöhl
Katharina Utermöhl Seior Economist for Europe at Allianz SE

The Greek economy returned on a positive growth trajectory in Q1 2019 with GDP expanding by +0.2% q/q – driven by impulses from the domestic economy – after a contraction of -0.1% q/q in the previous quarter. Undoubtedly Greece has made a lot of progress in recent years and short-term growth prospects have brightened notably. Nevertheless this is just the beginning of a still timid economic recovery after a decade-long downturn. To ensure that Greece’s economic recovery is sustainable beyond the short-term, investment – which remains close to levels recorded in the 1960s – will have to pick up notably. This requires above all policy consistency and a favorable business environment. Sticking to the reform course therefore remains absolutely essential and the government’s recent backtracking is a major concern in that context. The July general election provides an upside risk with the New Democracy party which is leading the polls promising to pursue a more business-friendly policy mix including lower taxes. Overall, we stick to our 2019 GDP growth forecast of +2%.