Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/08/2014 -- Although the Greek economy is still stuck in the doldrums, a spate of positive economic developments in recent months has fuelled a stellar market rally in bonds and equities, and has provided some much needed respite for the hardened coalition. On the macro front, a continued slowdown in the rate of economic contraction, coupled with a pickup in consumer sentiment, suggests that the acute phase of the crisis is gradually giving way to a period of stabilisation. A return to positive growth and a sustainable recovery is still some way off, but following five years of depression, the worst has now past. In 2013,
GDP is expected to decrease by 4.2% in real terms to US$247.2bn, equal to US$21,602 per capita.
The government also secured a welcome vote of confidence from rating agency Fitch which upgraded the Greek sovereign one notch to B- on May 15. Although still well below investment grade, this is nonetheless an important concession that recognises the progress made by the coalition in overhauling the public finances. The European Commission, for its part, has indicated that it expects Greece to meet its bailout requirements in 2013 and 2014, while still warning that additional austerity measures could be required for 2015 and 2016. Further reflecting the progress being made on fiscal reform, the International
Monetary Fund agreed to release a EUR1.7 bn disbursement at the end of May. While these developments do not mark a conclusive end to an era of fiscal reform, it nonetheless reflects a turning point for the Greek government which is slowly clawing back its economic credibility.
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