The official forecast of the European Commission for a 2.2 pct growth rate this year remains feasible, the Economy & Development ministry said in an economic bulletin released on Monday.
“The business sector has entered a recovery trend in the last two years led by external demand, IT modernization and internal restructuring. This momentum, if it could be accompanied by a deeper productive restructuring, strengthening of the industrial base and productivity gains, it would guarantee a continuation of Greek economic growth in 2019,” the ministry said.
The bulletin stressed that “under present conditions, the official forecast of the European Commission for a 2.2 pct growth rate this year remained feasible and could be surpassed despite an international economic uncertainty.”
The ministry said that Greek market shares in European exports of goods (excluding oil) rose to 0.43 pct in 2018 from 0.40 pct in 2016-2017, while Greek market shares in Mediterranean hotels rose to 13 pct from 11 pct, respectively. The start-up cost of an enterprise fell by 32 pct in the period 2014-2018 (World Bank data), Greek enterprises issued bond loans with improved interest rates following a successful return of Greece in international capital markets with a 10-year bond issue, while the transfer of research-technology in Greece grew 5.3 pct in 2014-2018, innovation grew 18.9 pct and business financing improved by 15.6 pct in the same period.
The number of investments in Greek startups more than doubled in the 2015-2018 period (82) from an average 40 in the 2012-2014 period. Private building activity grew 20 pct annually in the 2017-2018 period, while apartments prices grew by a nominal 2.5 pct in the fourth quarter of 2018. The bulletin noted that tourism was expected to see another record year in 2019 with the number of the workforce in the tourism sector expected to exceed 1.0 million.