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Greek parliament approves 2017 budget, sees return to strong growth

Staff Writer | December 12, 2016
Greek lawmakers approved the country's 2017 budget, projecting a return to strong economic growth next year.
Greek parliament
Europe   Greek economy to expand by 2.7 percent
The government is also imposing a wave of tax hikes and austerity cuts prescribed by its international lenders.

Athens estimates its economy will expand by 2.7 percent in 2017, supported by the trickle-down impact of bailout cash inflows and resurgent private demand. It also sees a primary surplus, excluding debt-servicing costs, of 2 percent of GDP.

If achieved, it would be the first signs of growth for the recession-battered economy since a short period in 2014.

Greece says it achieved a primary surplus equal to 1.1 percent of economic output in 2016, outperforming its 0.5 percent target.

Its 181 billion euro economy is expected to contract by 0.3 percent this year, according to the budget draft.

The national debt will be equivalent to 176.5 percent of GDP in 2017, according to the budget, nearly four points lower than this year. Greece's debt-to-GDP ratio is still the highest in the euro zone.