Economy of Greece, Report 2023

Greece’s Economic Outlook: Detailed Analysis (June 2023 by OECD)

Steady Growth Amid Global Challenges

Greece’s economy shows resilience and continued growth despite global economic challenges. The forecast shows a robust expansion, with real GDP projected to increase by 2.2% in 2023, slowing slightly to 1.9% in 2024. This growth trajectory underscores Greece’s economic strength in a volatile global landscape.

Consumption and Investment Trends

Household spending is expected to slow as inflation erodes purchasing power, but investment growth remains optimistic. Despite rising borrowing costs, strong investment growth is expected, supported by funds from the Recovery and Resilience Program. This surge in investment reflects confidence in Greece’s economic future.

Inflation dynamics and labor market

Greece has witnessed a moderation in headline inflation since September 2022. However, the inflationary trend has broadened, with labor shortages fueling wage growth. In response, energy price subsidies are being cautiously reduced, in line with the global trend of declining energy prices.

Current Economy Scenario

Despite facing headwinds, the Greek economy has maintained its growth momentum. Investment growth remained robust in the second half of 2022, supported by rising business confidence and favorable demand conditions. Despite challenges to household purchasing power and consumer confidence, real consumption growth was sustained in the first quarter of 2023, driven by robust employment growth.

economy of greece

Greek Economy Statistics

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

  • Total GDP (nominal, 2023 est.): $242.385 billion
  • Total GDP (PPP, 2023 Est.): $416.969 billion

GDP per capita:

  • $23,173 (nominal, 2023 Est.)
  • $39,864 (PPP, 2023 est.)

What does PPP mean?

“Purchasing Power Parity” (PPP) is a way to measure how much things cost in different countries compared to each other. It’s like trying to figure out how much money you’d need in one country to buy the same things you could buy in another country with a certain amount of money.

Here’s a simple example: Imagine a hamburger costs $5 in the United States but only €3 in Greece. If the exchange rate is $1 for €1, you might think things are cheaper in Greece. But with PPP, we check if €3 really feels the same to someone in Greece as $5 does to someone in the U.S. Maybe €3 is a lot of money in Greece compared to what people earn, so the hamburger feels more expensive there, even if it looks cheaper when we just convert the prices.

PPP helps compare economic productivity and living standards between different countries in a way that’s more realistic than just converting money at the current exchange rates. It’s like adjusting the cost of living and how much people earn in each country to understand their real economic power.

For countries, PPP can show how big their economy is by considering how much their money can really buy. This can be different from just adding up all the money (GDP) in a country, which might not show the true picture of people’s living standards or how strong the economy is.

GDP growth rates:

  • 2.7% in Q2 2023 (Est.)
  • 5.9% in 2022
  • 2.5% projected for 2023
  • 2% projected for 2024

GDP Rank:

53rd (Nominal, 2023)
54th (PPP, 2023)

GDP by Sector (2021 Estimates)

Agriculture: 4.5%
Industry: 18.2
Services: 77.3%

Inflation and CPI

  • 3.4% in October 2023
  • 4.1% estimated for 2023
  • A spike of 9.3% in 2022, after lower rates in 2021 and 2020

Population Below Poverty Line: In 2022, about 26.3% of people in Greece were at risk of being poor or socially excluded.

Gini Coefficient: This is a number that shows how evenly money is distributed among people. In 2022, Greece’s Gini coefficient was 31.4, which is medium.

Human Development Index

  • This number shows how well people are living, considering their health, education, and income. In 2021, Greece scored 0.887, which is very high, and ranked 33rd in the world.

Labor Force

  • In September 2023, about 4.7 million people were working or looking for work in Greece.
  • The employment rate for people aged 20 to 64 was 62.6% in 2021.

Labor Force by Occupation (2021 Estimates)

  • Agriculture: 11.2%
  • Industry: 15.6
  • Services: 73.2%

Unemployment Rate

  • General: 10.0% in September 2023
  • Youth (under 25): 19.4% as of September 2023

Salaries & Wages

  • Average gross salary: €16,250 annually (2021)
  • Average net salary: €9,382 annually (2019; equivalized)

Key Industries

  • Shipping and shipbuilding (4th globally in 2011)
  • Tourism
  • Food and tobacco processing
  • Textiles
  • Chemical industry
  • Μetal Products
  • Mining
  • Petroleum

Exports: €54.8075 billion (Increase 37.0%; 2022 est.)

Imports: €93.3425 billion (Increase 42.6%; 2022 est.)

Ease-of-Doing-Business Rank: In 2020, Greece was ranked 79th in the world for how easy it is to do business in the country.

Read a detailed report on Greek Economy by the Greek Statistical Authority

The Troubled Economy of Greece: Causes, Consequences, and Reforms

The economy of Greece is significant in a global context. As a member of the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone, Greece’s economic performance affects the stability of the region.

Greece has a mixed economy with a strong emphasis on the service sector, followed by industry and agriculture. Greece is also known for its shipping industry, having one of the largest merchant fleets in the world. The country has been a member of the EU since 1981 and adopted the Euro as its currency in 2001.

Current State of the Greek Economy

The Greek economy has faced significant challenges in recent years. It has struggled with a high debt burden and has struggled to achieve sustainable economic growth. Despite efforts to stabilize the economy, Greece continues to have a high unemployment rate. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation, leading to a contraction in various sectors such as tourism, manufacturing, and services.

In recent years, Greece has made progress in reducing its budget deficit and implementing structural reforms. However, the country still faces significant economic challenges. GDP growth has been volatile and the debt-to-GDP ratio remains high. Unemployment, especially among the youth, is a persistent problem. The Greek government has implemented measures to attract foreign direct investment and promote entrepreneurship, but more needs to be done to create a favorable business environment and stimulate economic growth.

Despite the challenges, there are some positive signs for the Greek economy. The country has a well-developed tourism sector, which is an important source of revenue. Greece is known for its picturesque islands, ancient ruins and beautiful beaches, which attract millions of tourists each year. The government is also focused on promoting renewable energy and green initiatives that can create new opportunities for economic growth and job creation.

Causes of the Greek Financial Crisis

The Greek financial crisis was primarily caused by a combination of factors. Excessive borrowing and a lack of fiscal discipline played a significant role in creating the crisis. Greece faced challenges in managing its public finances, resulting in a skyrocketing debt-to-GDP ratio. In addition, global economic factors, such as the 2008 financial crisis, had a significant impact on the Greek economy.

One of the main causes of the Greek financial crisis was the country’s unsustainable fiscal policy. Greece consistently spent more than it took in, leading to a rapidly growing national debt. The government borrowed heavily in international markets to finance its budget deficits, but as the debt burden grew, investors became increasingly concerned about Greece’s ability to repay its debts.

Another factor contributing to the crisis was the lack of transparency and accountability in the Greek financial system. There were widespread reports of corruption and tax evasion, which further undermined public confidence in the government’s ability to effectively manage the economy.

The global financial crisis of 2008 also played a significant role in triggering the Greek financial crisis. As the crisis spread around the world, it had a severe impact on the Greek economy, which was already facing structural problems. The crisis led to a sharp decline in international trade and a contraction in the global economy, which affected Greece’s export-oriented industries and led to a decline in economic growth.

Greek Debt Crisis and its Effects on the Economy

The Greek debt crisis has had a severe impact on the economy. To deal with the crisis, Greece received bailout packages from international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB). However, these bailout programs came with strict austerity measures. The implementation of these measures led to social unrest and a decline in living standards for many Greeks. The crisis also led to a decline in investment, economic growth and consumer spending.

The Greek debt crisis had a profound impact on the lives of ordinary Greeks. As a condition of receiving bailout funds, the Greek government implemented austerity measures that included spending cuts, tax increases, and labor market reforms. These measures were intended to reduce the budget deficit and restore fiscal sustainability, but they came at a cost.

The austerity measures led to a decline in government spending, which affected public services such as healthcare and education. Many Greeks saw their wages and pensions cut, while unemployment soared. Labor market reforms made it easier for employers to hire and fire workers, but also led to job insecurity and a decline in living standards.

The Greek debt crisis also had a negative impact on the banking sector. Greek banks were heavily exposed to government debt and faced liquidity problems as the crisis intensified. The government had to step in to provide financial support to the banks, but this added to the country’s debt burden. The banking sector has since been restructured and recapitalized to restore stability.

Despite these challenges, the Greek government, with the support of international institutions, has implemented reforms to address the root causes of the crisis. These reforms have focused on improving public financial management, enhancing tax collection, and promoting economic competitiveness. While the effects of the debt crisis are still being felt, there are signs of progress, including a return to positive economic growth and a gradual reduction in the budget deficit.

Economic Reforms in Greece

In response to the economic challenges, Greece has implemented several reforms. Structural changes have been made to improve tax collection and public administration to increase efficiency and reduce corruption. The country has also focused on attracting foreign investment and promoting entrepreneurship. Efforts have been made to improve competitiveness and reduce red tape to create a more business-friendly environment.

One of the key areas of reform has been tax administration. Greece has taken steps to improve tax collection and reduce tax evasion. The government has implemented measures such as the creation of a single tax authority, the digitization of tax processes, and the use of electronic invoicing. These reforms are aimed at increasing tax compliance and reducing the informal economy.

Public administration has also been a focus of reform. Greece has made efforts to streamline bureaucracy, reduce red tape and improve the efficiency of public services. This includes measures such as simplifying administrative procedures, digitizing government services, and introducing e-government initiatives. These reforms aim to make it easier for businesses to operate and improve the overall business environment.

To attract foreign investment and encourage entrepreneurship, Greece has taken steps to improve the investment climate. These include the establishment of investment promotion agencies, the simplification of investment procedures, and the provision of incentives for foreign investors. The government has also introduced reforms to improve the competitiveness of Greek companies, such as reducing labor costs and improving the business regulatory framework.

While progress has been made in implementing economic reforms, challenges remain. Greece still faces problems of corruption, high levels of bureaucracy, and a rigid labor market. Continued efforts are needed to ensure the sustainability of reforms and to create an environment conducive to investment and economic growth.

Key Sectors of the Greek Economy

Several sectors contribute significantly to the Greek economy. Tourism is an important sector, accounting for a significant portion of Greece’s GDP. The country’s rich cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes and beautiful islands attract millions of tourists each year. The tourism sector encompasses various activities, including accommodation, food and beverage services, transportation, and cultural tourism. Greece has worked to diversify its tourism offerings by promoting alternative forms of tourism, such as ecotourism and health tourism.

Shipping is another important sector of the Greek economy. Greece has a long maritime tradition and plays a significant role in world shipping. Greek-owned ships are among the largest in the world, and Greek shipping companies are involved in various aspects of the shipping industry, including ship management, chartering and shipbuilding. The shipping sector contributes to the Greek economy through direct employment, tax revenues and the provision of ancillary services.

Agriculture, particularly olive oil production, is also an important sector of the Greek economy. Greece is one of the largest olive oil producers in the world. Olive oil production not only contributes to the country’s GDP, but also provides employment opportunities, especially in rural areas. Greece’s favorable climate and fertile soil make it an ideal location for olive cultivation. The country produces high quality olive oil that is exported to markets around the world.

In addition to tourism, shipping, and agriculture, other sectors that contribute to the Greek economy include manufacturing, construction, and services. Manufacturing plays an important role in Greece’s export-oriented industries, such as food and beverages, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. The construction sector contributes to economic growth through infrastructure development and real estate activities. The services sector encompasses a wide range of activities, including finance, telecommunications, retail, and healthcare.

Challenges and Outlook

The Greek economy faces ongoing challenges, including high public debt, unemployment and the need for further reforms. To ensure sustainable growth, Greece must continue to implement fiscal discipline, attract investment, and promote entrepreneurship. Adapting to changing global circumstances, such as technological advances and green initiatives, will be crucial for the future prospects of the Greek economy. With continued reforms and a focus on competitiveness, Greece has the potential for economic recovery and a brighter future.

Despite the challenges, Greece has made progress in addressing the root causes of the financial crisis and implementing structural reforms. The country has shown resilience and determination in tackling its economic challenges. However, much remains to be done to ensure the sustainability of reforms and to create an environment conducive to investment and growth.

Looking ahead, Greece has opportunities to build on its strengths and diversify its economy. The country can further develop its tourism sector by promoting new destinations, improving infrastructure, and enhancing the quality of tourism services. Greece can also leverage its shipping industry by investing in maritime education and training and exploring new opportunities in areas such as shipbuilding and offshore energy.

Greece also has the potential to become a regional hub for renewable energy and green technologies. The country has abundant natural resources, such as wind and solar power, which can be harnessed to meet its energy needs and contribute to sustainable development. By investing in renewable energy infrastructure and promoting green initiatives, Greece can create new opportunities for economic growth, job creation and environmental sustainability.

In conclusion, while the Greek economy has faced significant challenges in recent years, there are reasons to be optimistic about its future prospects. With continued reforms, a focus on competitiveness, and the exploration of new opportunities, Greece can overcome its challenges and build a more resilient and prosperous economy. The road ahead may be challenging, but with determination and the support of key stakeholders, Greece has the potential to achieve long-term economic stability and growth.

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