Let $G$ be a finitely generated group, $S$ a fixed symmetric generating set and $B(n)$ the ball of radius $n$ about the identity with respect to the word length induced by $S$ on $G$.

Fix $k\geq1$ and denote by $\zeta_k(G,d_S)$ the infimum over $n\geq1$ of $\frac{|B(nk+k)|}{|B(nk)|}$.

Observe that:

- $\zeta_k(G,d_S)=1$ for all $k$ (well, $k=1$ is enough) implies that $G$ has sub-exponential growth.
- If $G$ has polynomial growth, then $\zeta_k(G,d_S)=1$, for all $k$ (Gromov + Pansu - by the way, is there a direct proof of this fact, without using such a big theorems?).

What happens in the middle? More formally:

Question:What can we say about $\zeta_k(G,d_S)$ when $G$ has intermediate growth? Is it always $1$? Is it always $>1$? Can be both?

**Update:** The answer has been provided by Martin Kassabov below: the condition $\zeta_k(G)=1$ is equivalent for $G$ to have sub-exponential growth.

Thanks in advance,

Valerio