Greek Economy May Have Reached Trough, Nordea’s von Gerich Says

Greece’s economic indicators signal its recession may have bottomed out amid a drop in yields and a surge in shares, Jan von Gerich at Nordea Bank AB said.

“Greece is starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel,” von Gerich, Helsinki-based chief analyst for fixed income at the Nordic region’s biggest bank, wrote in a note to clients today. “Some economic data is starting to indicate the worst being behind for the Greek economy.”

Economic confidence in Greece rose to the highest level in almost three years in December, the European Commission said today. Still, the country, which has received two international bailouts since 2010, is facing a sixth year of recession, even as the euro-area debt crisis shows signs of easing.

The yield on Greece’s 2 percent 2023 bond has slid to 11.2 percent from 28 percent in July and the spread with German securities of similar maturity has narrowed. The Athens Stock Exchange General Index has gained 54 percent over the past six months.

“These moves can very well continue,” von Gerich said. Even so, “notable setbacks will be seen in the way.”

Greek policy makers have implemented austerity measures and undertaken reforms to make the economy more competitive. Greece is also seeking to sell state assets.

“The country has a long way to go in reforming its economy, but it is not an impossible task,” von Gerich said. “With enough patience and determination, also the Greek economy could soon see at least somewhat better times ahead.”

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