Growth And Business Advantages
Greece's economy is projected to grow by 4.5% next year after a strong rebound this year on stronger tourism, pent-up demand and a boost from state support measures, the government's draft 2022 budget projected on Monday.
The government recently revised upwards this year's projected economic growth rate to 6.1% from 5.9%.
"The economy has already recovered more than two-thirds of the lost gross domestic product in one year, even though economic activity still faced restrictive measures in the first half," Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said.
On Friday Fitch Ratings said Greece's stronger-than-expected economic performance in the first half led it to upwardly revise its full-year 2021 GDP growth forecast to 6.0%.
Greece's economy roared back in the second quarter after a pandemic-induced 8.2% slump last year, growing at a better-than-expected annual rate of 16.2% as consumer spending and investments picked up.
"It seems that regaining the pre-pandemic GDP will take place sooner than expected, in the first half of 2022," said National Bank's chief economist Nikos Magginas.
EY’s survey for Greece, based on a sample of 253 companies worldwide, confirms the improvement of the country's perceived attractiveness. It is worth noting that the improvement comes, for the first time, to a large extent, from companies that have not yet invested in the country and, to a lesser extent, from those already established in Greece.
62% of the sample’s executives, compared to 38% last year, stated that their perception of Greece as a location where their business might establish or develop activities, has improved over the past year, while not a single company surveyed reports that its perception has deteriorated significantly. At the same time, optimism for the coming years is intensifying, with three out of four respondents (75%), compared to 69% last year, expecting the country's attractiveness to further improve over the next three years.
The share of those who believe that Greece is currently implementing an attractiveness policy that attracts global investors has increased, for the second consecutive year, to 71%, from 62% in 2020 and 50% in 2019, indicating that investors attribute the improvement of the country’s attractiveness to the pursuit of specific policies and not simply to the end of a protracted period of economic and political uncertainty, as was likely the case in 2019.
On the fiscal front, next year's draft budget projects the primary budget balance, which excludes debt servicing outlays, will see a deficit of 0.9% of economic output, down from an expected 7.7% of GDP gap this year.
Greece's public debt is projected to drop to 190.4% of GDP in 2022 from an expected 197.9% this year.
Unemployment is seen falling to 14.3% next year from 16.0% this year, the draft budget projected.