x

Economy

Different View: Ratings Agencies See Greek Economy Sinking

February 17, 2021

ATHENS — Far more pessimistic than the ruling New Democracy’s rosier estimates of a recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, ratings agencies are downgrading their estimates of how fast the economy will come back.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government had been accelerating a slow comeback from a near decade-long crisis made tougher by austerity and the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA’s 4 ½-year anti-business tenure.

The appearance of the Coronavirus changed all that and the economy is seen shrinking as much as 10 percent although the government’s forecasters said they see a slow return to growth.

The ratings agencies though said a third lockdown and the slow vaccine campaign has made them less favoring a quicker growth path and predict a deep recession in the first quarter of 2021, especially with uncertainty over whether tourism will come back another factor.

ING chief economist Carsten Brzeski told Kathimerini that the first three months of 2021 will see a 13 percent shrinkage for the economy and that the losses could go on all year.

“All this means that overall growth in 2021 will range around two percent and Greece will have to wait even longer, up to the second half of 2023, before it returns to its pre-crisis levels,” he said.

Jakob Suwalski, lead analyst on Greece at Scope Ratings, said his agency is also downwardly revising its estimates about Greek growth this year, telling the paper that growth could reach 3.5 percent, down 1 percent from earlier estimates.

He said that reflected economic losses associated with travel restrictions across Europe, Greece relying on tourism as its biggest revenue engine, bringing in as much as 18-20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of 165.9 billion euros ($200.3 billion.)

UniCredit also expects a double-digit recession over the first quarter with the lockdown still on and restaurants, bars and taverns not seen opening until the spring, many facing extinction by then.

Tullia Bucco, the bank’s head analyst in Greece, told the paper the contraction will be 11.3 percent in the first quarter on an annual basis and a 1.3 percent drop on a quarterly basis, another dire expectation.

RELATED

ATHENS - "The year 2022 will be one of historic records for both foreign direct investment in Greece and for exports," Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday during his speech at the "Naftemporiki" conference entitled "Greek Economy & Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities in an Unpredictable Future!" Referring to the performance of the Greek economy, he said this proved that entrepreneurship and the state, working together, were able to contain the unprecedented challenges to a satisfactory degree.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

‘In the Wine Dark Sea’ Documentary on Wines of Crete Now on Prime Video

BALTIMORE, MD – Wine Cellar Stories Productions announced the release of ‘In the Wine Dark Sea,’ the exciting new wine documentary by Chrisa Giorgi, featuring Master of Wine Konstantinos Lazarakis and 11 winemakers from Crete, Greece.

STORRS, CT – The Center for Hellenic Studies ‘Paideia’ of the University of Connecticut gave a warm welcome to Greece’s Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, who paid a visit to the Center on November 29.

ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday spoke on the phone with his Italian counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, whom he congratulated on assuming her duties.

BALTIMORE, MD – Wine Cellar Stories Productions announced the release of ‘In the Wine Dark Sea,’ the exciting new wine documentary by Chrisa Giorgi, featuring Master of Wine Konstantinos Lazarakis and 11 winemakers from Crete, Greece.

THESSALONIKI - The ferry link between the city of Thessaloniki and the Turkish coastal city of Izmir will be temporarily suspended after its last winter run on Wednesday, in order to resume its operation in the summer of 2023, Levante Ferries Group said in an announcement.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.