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Greece is out of recession for first time in two years

Greek government has claimed its economy is now in better shape than at any point since the financial crisis.

Image: Petr David Josek

THE GREEK ECONOMY emerged from recession for the first time since 2014, managing two straight quarters of GDP growth.

Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.5% in the three months to September from the previous quarter, and by 1.5% from the third quarter of 2015, statistics bureau Elstat said.

It had already nudged 0.2% higher in the second quarter from the first. Two consecutive quarters of growth officially mark the end of a recession.

The Greek government expects the Greek economy to contract by 0.3% in the full-year 2016, before returning to growth next year when it predicts GDP to surge by 2.7%.

Relief

On Thursday, it said the growth dynamic was now in better shape than at any point since the financial crisis.

“The Greek economy has not known a comparable growth rhythm since the first quarter of 2008,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said.

He said Greece was counting on debt relief to support growth, as well as on Athens gaining access to the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme which involves purchases of sovereign bonds.

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In May, Greece’s eurozone partners and the IMF agreed in principle to debt relief as well as series of short-term measures to be finalised in December.

They have not, however, been able to agree on the pace or the scope of long-term debt restructuring. European Union heavyweight Germany has pushed back any such deal to end-2018.

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