Greece economy in surprise return to growth

Athens (Neo Wb Desk) The Greek economy grew by 0.8% in the second quarter of the year, confounding expectations of a steep contraction.The official figures, based on a flash estimate, also revised a reading of 0.2% negative growth in the first quarter to a flat reading, showing no change in economic activity.The reading did not break down which sectors had been most active.The figures from the country’s Elstat agency come as the Greek parliament prepares to vote on new bailout plans.The Greek government has defended the controversial new programme as tough, but essential if the country is to avoid financial collapse.The credit crisis sparked six years of recession in Greece, from which it emerged in 2014 before shrinking again.Until these latest figures were released, the economy had been forecast to shrink again this year by between 2.1% and 2.3%.Nikos Magginas at National Bank said it was now possible that the contraction would be less than 2%.He said there were a number of sectors likely to have helped boost activity: “Some economic activity indicators in the second quarter, including consumption, industrial production and tourism, had shown particular resilience.”

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