by George Georgakopoulos
ATHENS, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Investment activity in Greece is expected to accelerate next year, helping growth rate rise to 2.4 percent from an estimated 2.0 percent this year, according to a quarterly report released Wednesday by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE).
Next year will see the investment of fixed capital in Greece grow by 12 to 14 percent on a yearly basis, IOBE predicted.
The Athens-based think tank maintained its economic growth forecast for 2018. However, the unchanged forecast is not based on investments, which are projected to rise just 4.0 percent year-on-year by the end of this year, below original expectations.
Instead, it is mainly exports, that by year-end are predicted to rise 8.0 percent from 2017, and the slight increase in household consumption in the second half of the year by 0.6 percent on an annual basis, that will keep the growth rate in line with the estimates of the country's creditors, the report noted.
IOBE Managing Director Nikos Vettas commented at the presentation of the report in Athens that the fiscal adjustment of the last few years has generated concern, and render the next few months crucial as to the medium-term course of the Greek economy.
He attributed his concern to the fact that the adjustment took place in a recessionary context, not through a structural transformation of the economy.
Although positive, the growth rates still lag behind the level that would have allowed for a convergence with the rest of the eurozone, Vettas argued.
Also on Wednesday, official data from the finance ministry on the execution of the budget in September showed a shortfall of 93 million euros (107 million U.S. dollars) in tax revenues, with another 256 million euros added to the pile of debts to the state, as many taxpayers were unable to pay their income and property taxes yet again.