The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Leader tipped to fall back in growth race

Greek GDP growth has outpaced that of EU peers since 1996 but underlying fiscal imbalances exacerbated by faltering privatization and the inevitable passing of the Olympics effect look set to slow it down. Dimitris Kontogiannis reports.


The Greek economy is expected to continue the outperformance of its EU partners that started in 1996, growing by about 4% in 2003 and 4.2% in 2004. By contrast, the European Commission (EC) forecasts GDP growth of 0.8% in 2003 and 2% in 2004 for the 15-member European Union as a whole and even lower rates of 0.4% and 1.8% for the eurozone.

There is, though, a downside to the Greek dynamism: its economy shows signs of fiscal slippage. This is causing concern about the country's public debt and growth prospects, bankers and economists say. And the government's strenuous efforts to redeploy privatization proceeds are meeting with mixed results.

Pillars of growth For now outperformance is based on the twin pillars of strong investment spending and healthy consumption growth. Backed by huge inflows from EU Structural Funds, preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games and the lowest interest rates in a generation, investment spending has become the main motor of growth. Generous wage rises and tax cuts have bolstered disposable income which, along with expanding consumer loans on the back of favourable interest rates, have accounted for real consumption growth rates in excess of 3%, further boosting the economy.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree