Policy Research in Macroeconomics

Greece slides down the GDP pole

Today’s GDP figures from Greece tell a harsh tale.  The headline  is that the  2011 4th quarter GDP is 7% down on the 4th quarter of 2010.  This is worse than had been predicted by most pundits.

But compared to the 4th quarter of Greece’s peak year for GDP, 2007, we can see just how dramatic the slide has been.  At 2005 constant prices, the Q4 2011 GDP figure is Euros 44,225 million.  In 2007, the figure was 53,121 million.  This is a reduction in real terms of 16.75%.

From the Hellenic Statistical Office’s figures, we can see that the annual Greek GDP figure for 2011 is Euro 182,310 million, which compares with 2007 Euro 209,855 mn. This means that in real terms, Greek GDP was 13.13% lower in 2011 than 4 years earlier, and also some 13% lower than the 2008 total.

Year on year, 2010 to 2011, GDP dropped by 6.9%.

This demonstrates just how serious for the Greek people will be the next layer of spending cuts which the EU, ECB and IMF are seeking to require, whatever any future Greek democratic Parliament or government may decide. The proposed ‘deal’ already assumes that Greece’s GDP will reduce by a further 5% in 2012 before allegedly returning to growth in 2013.

Note: Greek GDP figures are not at present seasonally adjusted.  However, there is a relatively clear pattern of fluctuations between different quarters, with Q1 providing the lowest figure each year

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