LONDON — The downtrodden Greek economy saw solid growth in the second quarter of 2017, data released by the country’s statistical authority on Friday showed.
Growth came in at 0.5%, ahead of the 0.4% growth in the first quarter, and well up on the 0.2% expansion that had been forecast prior to the release.
“The available seasonally adjusted data indicate that in the 2nd quarter of 2017 the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in volume terms increased by 0.5% in comparison with the 1st quarter of 2017, while in comparison with the 2nd quarter of 2016, it increased by 0.8%,” a release by the Hellenic Statistical Authority said.
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Greece’s economy is growing faster than that of the UK.
Britain’s economy has slowed substantially in 2017 as a result of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which has stifled investment, and the fall in the pound since the vote. This has pushed inflation higher and made everyday goods more expensive, which has in turn, dampened consumer spending.
GDP grew just 0.3% in the second quarter of 2017, with growth in the first three months even less impressive, leaving the UK languishing as the slowest growing economy in the G7.
To be clear, Britain and Greece’s economies are not hugely comparable. Britain had a total economic output of close to $US2.7 trillion in 2016, while Greece’s GDP was roughly $US195 billion.
However, since it entered an EU-sponsored bailout programme following the sovereign debt crisis triggered in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Greece’s economy has been in the doldrums with the country enduring numerous quarters of negative growth, and seeing technical four recessions in nine years.
Britain’s economy, by contrast, has grown strongly in the post-crisis years, frequently topping the G7 in pure growth terms. However, since the vote to leave the EU last summer, that pattern has reversed, and the UK is now stuttering, with the prospect of things getting even worse should Brexit negotiations stall.