Economic Trends/Outlook in Greece

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Economic Overview

Although the crisis hit Greece later than its European neighbors, it nevertheless plunged the country into a deep recession. Greece had to be saved from bankrupcy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission (EC), however the budgetary restriction measures adopted to restore public finances have taken their toll on growth. The latter was estimated at -4% in 2010. The country recently announced that its deficit would be "very likely " higher than its forecast of 9.5% of GDP. This will have a worsening impact on the debt, currently estimated at 142.5% of GDP. For the foreign observers the Greek economy should not recover before 2012 and only if the country fully implement the restructuring program of its economy.

The government is making an effort to pursue the measures planned in the structural reforms program to which it is bound by the loans it has received from the IMF and the EC. The priority is to reduce the fiscal deficit by increasing taxation, privatizing public companies and reforming the healthcare system.

The country is facing growing unemployment (which is higher than 10%) and a proliferation of social protest movements against the austerity measures.

Main Indicators 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
GDP (billions USD) 327.33 305.42e 310.37e 313.51e 320.23e
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -2.0 -4.5e -3.0e 1.1e 2.1e
GDP per Capita (USD) 29,328 27,302e 27,716e 27,970e 28,540e
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -17.5 -9.5e -6.0e -5.0e -3.8e
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 126.8 142.0e 152.3e 157.7e 157.0e
Inflation Rate (%) 1.4 4.7e 2.5e 0.5e 0.7e
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 9.4 12.5e 14.8e 15.0e 14.5e
Current Account (billions USD) -37.10e -31.49e -25.98e -24.35e -
Current Account (in % of GDP) -11.2e -9.7e -8.1e -7.5e -

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

Traditionally, the Greek economy is based on agriculture. The sector represents 3% of the GDP and employs around 12% of the active population. The main crops are tobacco (largest European producer) and cotton (fifth largest exporter in the world). Greece also has a significant ovine livestock. A large fishing industry is found in coastal regions and the merchant navy represents 10% of the GDP.

Thanks to the economic diversification led by the country, industry has replaced agriculture as a second source of income, behind services, and accounts for around 20% of the GDP. The main sectors are: electronic goos, transport materials, clothing and construction. More specifically, Greece is the largest European shipowner.

Growth in the tertiary sector is booming. It accounts for nearly three-fourths of the GDP. Tourism provides a vital source of income and alone contributes 11% of the GDP. Marine fishing represents 10% of the GDP.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 11.4 21.8 66.8
Value Added (in % of GDP) 3.1 17.5 79.3
Value Added (Annual % Change) 9.8 -6.0 -1.0

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

For more detailed background on Industries in Greece, click here.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

Moderately free
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the Country Risk Analysis Provided By Ducroire.


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