According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), the GDP grew by 0.5% compared to the first quarter of 2017 and recorded an annual rise of 0.8%, in comparison to the second quarter of 2016. The delay in the completion of the second evaluation adversely impacted the course of GDP. According to the new, seasonally adjusted figures, growth in the first quarter of 2017 was 0.4% (on an annual basis).
The sluggish growth rate in the first half of the year makes it very difficult for the Greek government to achieve its target of .8% of GDP growth in 2017 in the interim programme. In November 2016 the European Commission had forecast a growth rate of 2.7% for 2017 and 3.1% in 2018, which would have filled the Greek state’s coffers via taxes and social security contributions.
For every 1 percetnatge point of growth missed against the forecasts, the state loses billion euros from expected taxes and insurance contribution revenues. The Greek government released a statement claiming that ELSTAT’s second quarter provisional data proved beyond doubt that Greece had turned the page. “The dynamic recovery [of the economy] even at the time the second evaluation was not completed is more than obvious” the statement said.