Greece Returns to Growth for Second Time in a Decade

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Greece's economy grew by 1.4 percent last year, the national statistics agency Elstat said Monday, only the second time in a decade of crisis the eurozone nation has managed any growth.

The country's economy shrank by a quarter during an eight-year long recession, aggravated by spending cuts and tax hikes required under its international bailouts.

Debt-laden Greece managed 0.7 percent growth in 2014, but the recovery was squelched by a period of brinkmanship that nearly led to a default and the country exiting the euro before a third international rescue was agreed. 

The 1.4 percent growth rate is below the 1.8 percent estimated by the government in the 2018 budget it submitted in December.

Growth nearly stalled in the final quarter of last year, with the economy expanding by just 0.1 percent from the previous quarter.

Greece said last Friday that EU experts have approved a fresh injection of 5.7 billion euros ($7.0 billion) under its bailout loan program, which is set to end in August.

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