Greek Economic Growth Slightly Undershoots Targets for 2018

FILE - People walk outside the Zappeion conference hall in central Athens, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS (AP) — Greece’s statistical authority says economic growth in 2018 was weaker than forecast, following a slight contraction in the third quarter attributable to a decline in investment spending.

Provisional data released Thursday show the economy grew 1.9 percent in 2018, down from a 2.1 percent estimate by the government, but closer to the European Commission forecast of 2 percent.

In October-December, the economy contracted 0.1 percent on the quarter, with investment spending down 3.6 percent and exports up 1.8 percent.

Greece returned to growth in 2017 following a depression that erased about a quarter of the economy. The country exited its third international bailout last August. It first required rescue loans in 2010, when it lost market access after misreporting fiscal data.

Athens has successfully held two bond issues this year.

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