- POSTED: 17 Dec 2013 20:49
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Crisis-hit Greece will emerge from recession in 2014 after six years of contraction, the country's central bank said on Tuesday, warning however of political tensions and "considerable uncertainty" ahead.
ATHENS: Crisis-hit Greece will emerge from recession in 2014 after six years of contraction, the country's central bank said on Tuesday, warning however of political tensions and "considerable uncertainty" ahead.
"2014 will be the first year of positive growth, after six consecutive years of recession," the Bank of Greece said in its latest economic forecasts.
The recovery will have "a favourable impact on employment" with the average annual unemployment rate expected to decline over the year, the bank projected.
The Greek government has predicted the economy will grow by 0.5 per cent in 2014.
A healthier international context, a slower rate of decline in consumption and a stepping-up of privatisations demanded by Greece's international creditors should help get the struggling economy back on its feet, the central bank judged.
But the bank warned that the main risk remained a splintered political climate at a time when "what is needed is the exact opposite: the coming together of social and political forces for a national policy for exiting the crisis and returning to growth."
Since 2010, Greece's economy has been steered by its international creditors -- the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank -- in return for some 240 billion euros of bailout funds.
Earlier Tuesday, Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said talks with the creditors -- the so-called "troika" -- had come to an end without a deal on a vital one-billion-euro slice of fresh aid.
Negotiations have become bogged down over the restructuring of the heavily indebted arms manufacturer Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS), one of the state firms under audit.