Greece: New data show softer contraction in Q4
March 11, 2013
According to data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) on 11 March, GDP contracted 5.7% in the fourth quarter over the same period the previous year (Q3: -6.7% year-on-year). The print marks an improvement over the initial flash estimate of a 6.0% decline but represents, nonetheless, the 18th consecutive quarter of contracting economic activity. In the full year 2012, GDP fell 6.4%, a small improvement over the 7.1% contraction tallied in 2011.
Domestic demand remained depressed as the country continues to implement the harsh set of austerity measures agreed with the EC-ECB-IMF Troika. Private consumption plummeted 9.6% in the fourth quarter (Q3: -8.6% yoy), while public spending contracted 5.8% (Q3: -10.2% yoy). Meanwhile, fixed investment plunged 10.3%, which nonetheless marked an improvement over the 21.5% drop seen in Q3. In addition, total investment saw its first positive reading since the final quarter of 2007 (Q3: -28.9% yoy; Q4: +4.9% yoy) on the heels of strong stockpiling.
The external sector deteriorated, as exports of goods and services fell 4.8% (Q3: -4.2% yoy), while imports declined 8.1% (Q3: -18.7% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall economic growth fell from 4.4 percentage points in the third quarter to 1.4 percentage points in the fourth.
EL.STAT has not provided seasonally adjusted figures since Q1 2011 due to methodological problems.