ATHENS – It wasn’t much, but Greece’s austerity-bashed economy, which lost 25 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, grew 0.7 percent in the third quarter after six years of shrinkage.
With the country technically out of recession, which hasn’t helped those left behind and out of work, it was another sign of a looming, if slow, recovery.
The data came from the country’s statistical agency, ELSTAT, which reported that the provisional estimate on GDP, based on seasonally adjusted data, showed that a 0.6 percent rise in consumer spending and a 1.6 percent increase in investment quarter-on-quarter helped Greece’s 182 billion euro economy expand in the July-to-September period. Exports of services, mainly tourism, grew 4.7 percent.
ELSTAT released seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter GDP data for the first time since 2011 earlier this month, showing that the battered economy emerged from a protracted, austerity-led recession in the first quarter of this year and continued to grow ever since.
The agency also said that seasonally unadjusted GDP data on an annual basis showed the economy expanded by 1.9 percent in the third quarter, at a faster pace than a previous 1.7 percent estimate.
The government and its international lenders predicted that the economy will expand 0.6 percent this year even though they are still wrangling over undone reforms and whether Greece should remain tethered to the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) for two more years.