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Country Forecast Greece July 2018 Updater

Country Forecast Greece July 2018 Updater

  • July 2018
  • ID: 2556783
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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  • The government-comprising Syriza Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza, the party of the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras) and the small, right-wing Independent Greeks (AE)-has a two-seat majority in the 300-seat parliament. The government is vulnerable to further defections and there is a significant risk of an early election (the next election is due by September 2019). The centre-right New Democracy (ND) would probably win the most seats and form a coalition government.
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects Greece to remain subject to strict policy conditionality over the medium term and until Greece's debt to its international creditors is substantially reduced. Protests over labour market reforms, pension cuts, privatisation, and tax and social security increases are likely to continue as the government strives to meet the ambitious annual primary surplus budget target of 3.5% of GDP until 2022, as agreed with Greece's euro zone creditors.
  • Greece will face its biggest macroeconomic challenge after it exits the bail-out programme. How the economy performs during the transition will determine whether Greece will remain in the euro zone. We assess the risk of it leaving the euro zone by 2022 at more than 50%, given the difficulties that the country will face in attaining rapid growth while meeting large primary surplus targets and restoring competitiveness without a currency devaluation. We expect that public debt will still equal about 170% of GDP in 2022.
  • Greece does not face any short-term financing difficulties as it will have sufficient funds to cover its debt repayments for almost two years after it exits the bail-out programme in August 2018. However, the challenges posed by the very high public debt burden and a poor growth outlook mean that Grexit will remain a significant risk over the medium and long term.
  • We forecast that annual average inflation will edge down from 1.1% in 2017 to 0.7% in 2018, before accelerating to an annual average of 1.5% in 2019-22, reflecting higher oil prices and a pick-up in domestic demand. These trends will result in widening, but still moderate, current-account deficits in 2018-22.


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