Signs of hope for Greek economy

Last updated 10:09 13/06/2014

Relevant offers

World

Outgoing National MP Maurice Williamson picks up plum LA diplomatic posting How the EU's ruling on Apple explains why Brexit happened Indianapolis pizza shop wants to trade guns for pizza Teacher says he was victim of racial discrimination at top Australian school Dubai's ruler orders management shake-up after absences Q&A-Why the EU says Apple must pay Ireland NZ$20 billion in tax Apple must pay up to NZ$20 billion in back taxes in Ireland - European Commission Apple could face billions in European back taxes Bidding hots up for huge Australian Kidman farm as Gina Rinehart steps in VW to lower US prices in uphill battle to lift plunging sales

Greece's outgoing central bank chief said on Thursday that the country's battered economy is on track to expand again after a punishing six-year recession, but warned that any slippage in reforms could still lead to disaster.

George Provopoulos said in a report that confidence is growing in the bailed-out country's economy's prospects and markets ''anticipate a gradual exit from the crisis''.

The report expects the economy to grow 0.5 per cent this year, just below the government's 0.6 per cent forecast.

But it warns that ''the slightest backtracking or reversal'' in economic reforms could cause instability and lead to Greece losing bond market access again.

In April, the country successfully sold its first bonds since it was priced out of the market more than four years ago, when international investors were spooked by the country's soaring debt levels.

Greece has since then implemented harsh spending cuts, reforms and tax hikes to secure international bailouts.

The deeply resented belt-tightening contributed to a depression-like economic slump, while unemployment shot up to record highs.

Data released on Thursday showed unemployment was 27.8 per cent in the first quarter, unchanged from the last quarter of 2013 and slightly higher than a year earlier.

The Statistical Authority figures showed unemployment remained highest among 15- to 24-year-olds, at 56.7 per cent.

The central bank report said that, despite progress in the public sector reforms, the government must still address delays and gaps in the program.

It also stressed that over the next five years, further efforts are needed to rationalise public spending and improve tax administration.

The conservative-led governing coalition said on Thursday it was continuing to meet its deficit targets.

Preliminary figures showed a primary budget surplus of €711 million ($1.11 billion) in January-May, about €500m above target.

The primary surplus does not include the cost of servicing the country's crippling debt.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content