With a better than expected economic outlook and rising exports, Greece enters 2020 with a more optimistic outlook on the future. Tourism revenues were up by more than 14% in 2019 compared to 2018 while exports of goods rose by 6.2%, and by 14.5% for services.
Greece’s economy expanded at a better-than-expected 2.3% year-on-year rate in the third quarter, according to the latest data by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, supported by strong tourism inflows, growing consumer spending, and investment. The data shows the economy is on track to achieve growth of 2.0% for the full year, in line with government forecasts.
Greek exports of goods and services jumped 9.5% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, further confirming the role of exports in the country’s economic recovery. According to official data, exports of goods were up 6.2% on the year, while exports of services rose 14.5%
Revenues from foreign visitors reached €16.08 billion in the first nine months of the year, surpassing the total for 2018 and confirming 2019 as another record year for Greek tourism. The latest data from the Bank of Greece show that tourism revenues are up more than 14% in the first nine months to September compared with a year ago.
Greece concluded the early repayment of €2.7 billion in International Monetary Fund loans, reducing the country’s interest expenses and improving its debt profile. The move, which was expected, reflects Greece’s improved fiscal position.
The 17 countries of the Eurozone approved the disbursement of up to €767 million of accumulated profits from European central bank operations, providing a boost to the Greek government budget. The disbursement is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2020 following parliamentary approval by several member states
The Greek parliament has approved a new tax law that cuts tax rates on corporate and personal income, as well as tax rates on dividends. The new law also provides incentives for wealthy individuals who choose to reside in Greece for at least six months per year.
Greece’s Inter-ministerial Committee for Strategic Investments has approved six new projects with a combined budget of €1.05 billion. The six projects, which range from the redevelopment of an old industrial facility near Athens to a cluster of photovoltaic parks in central Greece, are expected to create 1,500 new jobs.
Prices for Greek residential property rose 9.1% on year in the third quarter, compared with a 7.7% increase in the second, showing that the recovery in Greek home prices is gathering pace. According to Bank of Greece data, prices for office space also rose, up 2.2% in the first half of the year when compared with the second half of 2018, while prices for retail space rose 4.2% over the same period.
*Source: Investment and Trade Promotion Agency