Greece: Economic activity remains depressed in third quarter
December 9, 2011
According to provisional data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (EL.STAT) on 9 December, GDP contracted 5.0% in the third quarter over the same period last year. The print represents a slight improvement over the initial flash estimate of a 5.2% contraction and overshot the 7.4% drop recorded in the second quarter. In the third quarter, domestic demand contracted at a softer pace (Q2: -8.2% year-on-year; Q3: -7.0% yoy), while the external sector continued to improve. Final consumption expenditures fell 5.1% (Q2: -8.6% yoy), with private consumption dropping 5.5% (Q2: -7.2% yoy) and government spending contracting 3.9% (Q2: -14.2% yoy). On the other hand, investment deteriorated significantly (Q2: -5.8% yoy; Q3: -17.8% yoy) due to higher destocking, while fixed investment continued to contract (Q2: -18.4% yoy; Q3: -15.2% yoy). The external sector recorded gains as exports expanded 3.2% (Q2: -0.5% yoy), while imports decreased 4.3% (Q2: -4.9% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth increased from 1.3 percentage points in the second quarter to 2.1 percentage points in the third. EL.STAT has not provided seasonally adjusted figures for some time due to methodological problems. Meanwhile, the government sees GDP contracting 5.5% this year and shrinking 2.8 % in 2012.