Macro roundup: Front of the pack
Greece's economy grew 5.9 percent last year, one of the highest rates in the euro area
National account figures released this week confirmed that Greece had one of the highest growth rates in the euro area in 2022.
Gross domestic product grew by 5.9 percent in 2022, not a huge drop off from the 8.4 percent increase the year before, when output was catching up with what was lost due to the pandemic. Excluding Ireland, where the GDP figures are distorted by multi-national corporations using the country as their European base, the only eurozone countries to surpass Greece’s growth rate were Malta, Portugal and Croatia (which joined the currency bloc at the start of this year).
In the fourth quarter, both quarterly and yearly growth rates picked up after a dip in the previous three months. GDP increased 1.4 from the third quarter, when it grew 0.4 percent. It grew 5.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase from a 4.4 percent year-on-year growth rate in previous quarter.
Investment and household consumption were the two big drivers of growth last year, with the deterioration of the country’s trade balance acting as a drag. Private-sector consumption rose 7.8 percent, while gross fixed capital formation was up 11.7 percent.
Growth in the latter category brought investment up to 13.7 percent of GDP, the highest it’s been since 2011. However, it still remains well below the euro area’s total of 22.7 percent, as well as Greece’s own pre-financial crisis level.
Industrial production grew 0.5 percent in January from a year earlier, turning positive after four months of decline.
Manufacturing grew 8.4 percent in January; mining and quarrying increased 7.8 percent.
Electricity supply fell 23.5 percent; water supply dropped 2.1 percent.
Greece’s trade deficit in January shrank 21.9 percent from the same month of 2022 earlier to 2.38 billion euros.
The value of exports increased 30.2 percent to 4.46 billion euros.
The value of imports increased 5.8 percent to 6.83 billion euros.
If you are enjoying this newsletter, then consider sharing Grecology with others.
Next week’s key releases
Monday, March 13:
February consumer price index (Elstat)
Wednesday, March 15:
January-February preliminary central govt budget execution (Finance Ministry)
Fourth-quarter indices of employment, hours worked and wages (Elstat)
Thursday, March 16:
Fourth-quarter labour force survey (Elstat)
I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback, either in the comments, on Twitter or by replying to the email. If you’re not subscribed yet, consider doing so.