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Greek economy expands in Q4 on higher consumer spending, investment

A man makes his way to the main food market, in Athens

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's economy expanded in October-to-December last year with higher consumer spending and investment more than offsetting lower exports, official data showed on Tuesday.

Seasonally-adjusted data showed gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.4% in the fourth quarter from an upwardly revised 0.4% growth rate in the third quarter, data from the country's statistics service showed.

Household expenditure rose by 1.8% in the fourth quarter, with investment increasing by 8.5%.

Exports of goods and services, including tourism, fell by 0.8% in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, the economy grew by 5.9%, non-seasonally adjusted data showed.

Since the lifting of COVID restrictions last year, the Greek economy has recovered strongly thanks to robust tourism revenues and improving consumer spending and investment.

However, soaring energy costs and inflation are seen curbing spending and investment this year, with the government projecting growth will slow to about 2.0% in 2023.

"The positive carry over effect for this year will be higher, to about 1.5%, pointing to a growth of more than 2%," National Bank's senior economist Nikos Magginas told Reuters.

Greece emerged in 2018 from a decade-long debt crisis that had forced it to sign up to three international bailouts. Its economic performance is pivotal as it aims to return to an investment grade rating later this year.



GDP (q/q, %) 1.4 0.4* 1.1* 2.2

GDP (y/y, %) 5.2 4.4* 7.3* 7.5*

* revised

source: ELSTAT

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Christina Fincher)