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Greek central bank chief sees economic growth topping 6%

Greece’s economic growth will exceed 6.0% this year, the head of its central bank told POLITICO in an interview on Tuesday.

“I expect our forecast to be higher than 6 percent,” Yannis Stournaras, the Bank of Greece BOGr.AT head and ECB Governing Council member was quoted as saying, without providing further details.

“At the end of 2021 we will likely have higher GDP compared to the pre-pandemic one.”

Greece’s economy grew strongly in the second quarter, beating forecasts, with its annual expansion rate hitting 16.2% as consumer spending and investments picked up. Last year the economy slumped 8.2%.

Last week Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the economy was set to grow by a better-than-expected 5.9% this year and announced tax cuts to help businesses and households strained by the coronavirus pandemic.

Stournaras told POLITICO he expects the European Central Bank to continue to buy Greek debt under its asset purchase programme (APP) even after it ends its pandemic emergency purchase programme, or PEPP.

“This is not a question of Greece’s ability to service debt, but a question of even transmission of monetary policy,” he was quoted as saying, referring to the ECB’s goal of keeping borrowing costs low.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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