German economic advisers see 2.0 pct growth in Greece in 2018

Greece will attain a 0.9 pct GDP growth rate in 2017, rising to 2.0 pct in 2018, a panel of economic advisers to the German government said on Wednesday.

They also estimated that unemployment will be 21.5 pct this year, and next year it will be reduced to 20 pct.

In their 460-page report, which was handed over to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the five “wise men” of the German economy said that growth in Germany will reach 2.0 pct in 2017, while in 2018 it will rise to 2.2 pct, in an upward revision of previous forecasts (1.4 pct and 1.6 pct, respectively). According to them, the eurozone will grow by 2.3 pct in 2017 and 2.1 pct in 2018.

The five-member German Council of Economic Experts, who advise the German government on economic policy, said that the major structural reforms have been made by countries with high unemployment rates and public debt, such as Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

An important role in boosting employment in Greece and Spain has been the tourism industry since 2013. In this area, it is stressed that employment is growing at a faster pace than in other sectors of the economy. “This positive development reflects the exceptional growth of tourism in southern Europe and is favoured by the fact that, in this area, qualification requirements are comparatively lower,” the report said, while it remains to be seen whether growth in tourism will continue at this rate if political instability is reduced in other countries in the region.