Greece: Economy falls deeper into recession in the fourth quarter
March 18, 2011
GDP contracted an annual 6.6% in the fourth quarter, down from the third quarter's decline of 5.1%. The fourth quarter contraction represents the deepest quarterly decline since the economy started to contract in the fourth quarter of 2008. Final consumption expenditures dropped by 6.7% (Q3: -6.9% year-on-year), with private consumption plunged 8.6% (Q3: -5.6% yoy) and government spending fell 1.9% (Q3: -11.4% yoy). In addition, investment contracted 7.6% (Q3: -22.0% yoy). Exports of goods and services increased 12.8% (Q3: -0.9% yoy), while imports declined 3.2% (Q3: -8.9% yoy), giving the only upbeat tone to the GDP report. The Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) did not provide seasonally adjusted figures due to methodological problems. According to the flash estimate released on 15 February, GDP contracted a seasonally adjusted 1.4% over the previous quarter, which represented a slight improvement compared to the revised 1.7% drop recorded in the third quarter.