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Greek Economy Set for Continued High Growth in 2024

View of Athens as seen from Lycabettus hill
View of Athens as seen from Lycabettus Hill. Credit: Flickr/ Milos Golubovic CC BY 2.0

After a robust recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing favor with several credit rating agencies, the Greek economy is expected to see a continued trend in positive growth in the new year.

The Greek Economy in 2024

In its World Economic Outlook report, published in October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the Greek economy would grow by 2.0 percent in 2024, surpassing average growth rates of 0.7 percent and 1.2 percent in the eurozone.

The financial agency also said it expected Greece’s European Union-paired inflation rate to fall to 2.8 percent in 2024, along with the unemployment rate going down to 9.3 percent of the workforce from 12.4 percent in 2021. The country’s current account deficit is predicted to fall to about 6.0 percent of GDP in 2024.

A Strong Financial Year in 2023

This follows from a strong financial year in 2023, during which global credit ranking agency Standard and Poor’s upgraded its rating of the country’s financial standing to investment grade for the first time since the debt crisis in 2010.

The agency said at the time, “Significant budgetary consolidation has placed Greece’s fiscal trajectory onto a firmly improving track.”

The Financial Times hailed Greece as being “transformed from an economic basket case to European growth tiger” around the same time analysts at Barclays Bank predicted the country was on the verge of a third economic megacycle.

According to the European Commission’s spring 2023 economic forecasts, Greece’s growth was expected to “double the eurozone average” in 2023 at 2.4 percent. The European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said, “It is difficult for me to highlight the negative elements when we have a lot of positive elements.”

The IMF also said Greece’s economic growth for 2023 was expected to be at 2.4 percent, double the eurozone average, and the Bank of Greece raised its economic growth forecast for Greece in April, citing the country’s remarkable progress in 2022.

Data compiled by the Hellenistic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) showed that the Greek economy grew by 2.7 percent in the second quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. This surge paved the way for the country’s improved ratings with aforementioned credit agencies.

Foreign investment over the last two years reached a twenty-year record, reflecting renewed confidence in the outlook of the Greek economy. Greece recovered well from the pandemic, which saw most countries close down for significant periods of time, negatively affecting economic growth.

In 2022, the country was named top economic performer among selected OECD nations by The Economist. The publication ranked Greece according to five key indicators in its analysis of thirty-four OECD countries. Greece came out on top for GDP, consumer prices, inflation breadth, share prices, and public net debt as a percentage of GDP.

This led to The Economist lauding Greece’s performance as a “pleasant surprise,” amid a challenging financial period for the world.

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