Will the shadows over the IMF-Greece relations become a thing of the past?

Posted by Antonis D. Papagiannidis 15/04/2019 2 Comment(s) Economia Blog,

The IMF/World Bank 2019 Annual Spring Meetings could be easily termed the moment in time where the shadows over the relations of the Fund with Greece have started to clear. Not only the prospects for an early repayment of some 4 bn euros of the remaining IMF (quite expensive, at almost 5%) support to Greece have become clearer, but also the Fund’s growth forecasts for the beleaguered country are quite optimist – better than the European Commission’s – at 2.4% for 2019 (and 2.2 % for 2020).


Of course, there is no silver lining without some more clouds down the road: so, the IMF settles for 1.2% growth at a 2024 horizon.


The shadows (or clouds, according to the metaphor one prefers) become darker once the longer-term future comes into play. The Fund, extrapolating the steady fall in Greek labour force – indeed in Greek population – over the next decades, along with the long-term disappointing progress of labour productivity, stands by its earlier gloomy forecast for an average growth rate of 1% until the. year 2060. (The extreme timeline is no bad joke on the Fund’s part; it so happens that such is the time horizon of calculation over the repayment of Greek debt).


So, it would seem that the IMF trades a short-to-medium term sunny spot for Greece with longer-term gloominess.


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