The Athens-based Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE) on Wednesday forecast a GDP growth rate for Greece in 2018 at 2 percent, a figure cited in its second quarterly report of the year.
In presenting the report, IOBE board chairman Takis Athanasopoulos reminded that the economic damage incurred by Greece over the crisis years – 2009 to the present – has lowered living standards in the country to neighboring Balkan states’ level, where before they once “approached” Scandinavian levels.
According to the IOBE study, the Greek economy grew in the first quarter of 2018 by 2.3 percent, compared with the preceding quarter, Q4 2017. The growth was attributed to an improvement in the balance of trade payments, buoyed by a hike in exports, 7.6 percent, and a drop in imports, -2.8 percent.
Investments also dropped by 12.1 percent, although IOBE attributed this figure to a significant decline in the import of vessels, i.e. purchases by Greece-based shipping companies.
Household consumption continued to decline in Q1 2018, by 0.4 percent, for the third straight quarter, whereas public consumption was slightly up, 0.3 percent.