Last Updated: July 11, 2022, 11:03 IST
The Greek economy may grow more than expected as tourists return to the country in greater numbers, according to the central bank chief.
An expansion of “3.2% is our baseline scenario at the Bank of Greece, but this is based on the assumption that revenues from travel, from what we call tourism, is going to be 80% of the revenues of 2019,” Yannis Stournaras said in an interview Saturday. “It seems to be that it is going to be close to 100%. So 3.2% perhaps is on the lower end of the probability distribution.”
The tourism sector is vital for Greece and the industry accounts for about a fifth of its economy and more than a quarter of jobs. While a cost-of-living crisis means European consumers have cut back on some spending, foreign travel has proven an exception and tourists are flocking to Greece.
The country also is in a better situation than some of its euro-area peers in regard to the threat of Russia cutting off energy deliveries. Greece will likely avoid a recession should shipments halt completely, Stournaras said.
“Greece has quite diverse sources of natural gas, of liquefied natural gas — it has done its homework for many months now,” he said. A complete stop would mean “the growth rate falls a lot, but it does not become negative,” he said. “We’ll not fall into recession.”