ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's economy is projected to grow by 4.5% next year after a strong rebound this year on stronger tourism, pent-up demand and a boost from state support measures, the government's draft 2022 budget projected on Monday.
The government recently revised upwards this year's projected economic growth rate to 6.1% from 5.9%.
"The economy has already recovered more than two-thirds of the lost gross domestic product in one year, even though economic activity still faced restrictive measures in the first half," Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said.
On Friday Fitch Ratings said Greece's stronger-than-expected economic performance in the first half led it to upwardly revise its full-year 2021 GDP growth forecast to 6.0%.
Greece's economy roared back in the second quarter after a pandemic-induced 8.2% slump last year, growing at a better-than-expected annual rate of 16.2% as consumer spending and investments picked up.
"It seems that regaining the pre-pandemic GDP will take place sooner than expected, in the first half of 2022," said National Bank's chief economist Nikos Magginas.
On the fiscal front, next year's draft budget projects the primary budget balance, which excludes debt servicing outlays, will see a deficit of 0.9% of economic output, down from an expected 7.7% of GDP gap this year.
Greece's public debt is projected to drop to 190.4% of GDP in 2022 from an expected 197.9% this year.
Unemployment is seen falling to 14.3% next year from 16.0% this year, the draft budget projected.
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)