Greece upgrades 2018 growth forecast

ATHENS: The Greek government has upgraded slightly its forecast for economic growth next year, according to its final 2018 budget, tabled late on Tuesday.
The government is expecting the economy to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2018, fractionally higher than the 2.4 per cent contained in the draft budget last month.
And the country’s public finances will be in the black, with Athens pencilling in a budget surplus equivalent to 3.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), excluding debt payments, the finance ministry said.
The target mandated by Greece’s creditors is 3.5 per cent, up from 1.75 per cent this year.
The Greek parliament is scheduled to vote on the budget on December 22.
Greece “is entering a new period of economic stability,” the ministry said.
And Athens’ main target now would be to “regain access to global capital markets.”
In 2017, the economy was expected to grow by 1.6 per cent and register a primary surplus of 2.4 per cent, the ministry said.
Athens intends to sell state assets worth just over 1.1 billion euros in 2018.
The country’s debt is expected to grow to 332 billion euros ($392 billion) from 318.3 billion euros this year, or 179.8 per cent of GDP.
Brussels is also confident about the outlook for the Greek economy.
Speaking to the European parliament on Tuesday, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said the Greek economy was showing marked improvement and was capable of “durable growth”.
An ongoing review of Greek reforms could feasibly conclude by early 2018, Dombrovskis said. — AFP