Greece expects its economy to grow next year — at last.
In its draft budget presented Monday, the government forecast the economy would grow 0.6 percent in 2014, its first annual increase since 2007. This year it is predicted to shrink 4 percent, leaving the economy 25 percent smaller than when it first slid into recession in 2008 during the global financial crisis. The government even expects some jobs growth and a continued improvement in the state of the country’s public finances. Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras noted a rise in investment and exports. Greece’s economy was hit by the market turmoil in 2008. But its problems multiplied in late 2009, when it revealed that its public debt was far higher than expected.