Greek turnaround: Revised first quarter statistics reveal economy grew rather than shrank

Oliver Gill
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Greece is facing testing negotiations with its creditors this summer (Source: Getty)

Greece did not fall into recession in the first quarter of 2017 as previously estimated, the government revealed today.

The country's economy grew, rather than shrank, according to revised statistics. GDP was 0.4 per cent higher than a year ago compared with a contraction of 0.5 per cent indicated by early estimates in mid-May.

The changes to the official figures are a result of incorporating new data, unavailable at the time of the flash results last month.

Read more: Greece exploring first new bond issue since 2014

The Hellenic Statistical Authority said the update includes the impact of the Industrial Production Index, the Producer Price Index in Industry and the Consumer Price Index.

It added: "The turnover and volume indices in retail trade, data on imports-exports of goods and services and the Labour Force Survey data are available only for two out of the three months of the aforementioned period.

"Significant revisions are often made in other [EU] countries too."

The growth news will give the Greek government a boost as it attempts to thrash out a bailout deal with creditors.

Read more: Greece returns to recession after bailout battle dragged on growth

The Greek government needs the bailout to make payments on bonds that mature this summer. However, the programme was thrown into doubt in February when splits were revealed within the IMF.

The IMF suggested the Greek government’s debt to GDP ratio was unsustainable and that austerity measures were holding back growth. Government debt currently stands at around 179 per cent of GDP.

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