In the second quarter of 2017 our country has again registered the highest rate of economic growth in the European Union. In fact, the national wealth in our country grew by 6.4%, almost three times more than the growth of 2.3% observed in the European Union during the same period.
It is now confirmed that second quarter figures, in the first half of the year, the growth rate was 6.3%, i.e. three times more than the rate of growth that our country had in the same period before the change in government in 2013.
There were two main factors behind the strong growth of our country.
The first, was the sharp rise in private consumption driven by substantial growth in income. In fact, in the first half of the year, wages in our country were € 123 million, or 6%, higher than in the same period the previous year. As a result, official statistics show substantial improvement in revenues, that so far in 2017 private consumption has increased by 4.4%.
The second factor behind the strong growth was the positive performance of enterprises. Official figures show that business profits have risen by € 234 million compared with the same period a year before. Moreover, the profits that businesses have made in 2017 to € 967 million, or 65%, higher than those made in the last year of the previous government before 2013. This strong improvement in profits is leading businesses to continue to increase their investment. In fact, in the first half of 2017, investment was € 253 million, or 42%, higher than in the last year before the change in government.
Another development arising from official statistics is that in the first half of 2017, government cost continued to be controlled. Government consumption accounted for 16% of national wealth, against 20% in the same period in the last year of the previous administration. This explains why our country currently has a surplus in public finances, against excessive deficits in the past.
Official statistics show that the financial sector, actually increased operations by € 23 million, or 7.4%, in the first half of 2017. The sector of online gaming grew by € 58 million, or 10%, at the same time.