Greek economy grows for fifth straight quarter

A man walks past parked electric trolley buses in a depot during a 24-hours public transport strike, in Athens, on Thursday, May 31, 2018. Transport workers walked off the job a day after a nationwide general strike to protest against plans to extend austerity measures. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece — Greece's economy has grown for a fifth consecutive quarter, keeping the country's recovery on target as eight years of international bailout programs are due to end in August.

The Greek Statistical Authority said Monday that the economy grew 2.3 percent in January-March compared to the same period a year earlier. The growth from the previous quarter was 0.8 percent.

The government is negotiating the terms of its bailout exit with eurozone rescue lenders, and parliament is expected to approve a final major round of administrative and cost cutting reforms next week. The planned cuts triggered a 24-hour general strike last week.

After the August exit, the government is seeking a full return to bond markets, but Greece's top central banker renewed a support for a more gradual approach with a precautionary credit line from bailout lenders.

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