The Greek economy was in deep recession in 2011, running at an annual rate of 6.8 percent, the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Tuesday. ELSTAT, in flash estimates, said that the recession averaged out at 6.8 percent for the year after GDP plunged by 7 percent in the fourth quarter of the year, 5.0 percent in the third quarter, 7.3 percent second quarter, and 8 percent in the first quarter of 2011.
More specifically, ELSTAT said that available non-seasonally-adjusted data indicate that, in the 4th quarter of 2011, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices of year 2005 decreased by 7.0% in comparison with the 4th quarter of 2010. The dramatic deterioration in the Greek economy is mainly attributed to a veritable ‘freeze’ in private and public investments, and to a drastic decline in consumption demand, while an increase in exports and reduction in imports provided a small counter-balance.
The Greek finance ministry had initially predicted recession at 2.8 percent for 2012, but the forecasts now anticipate a more than 3.5 percent decline in growth, resulting in a cumulative recession of 4-5 percent for 2012-2013. Greece is currently in its 5th year of recession, given GDP declines of 0.15 percent in 2008, 3.3 percent in 2009, 3.4 percent in 2010, and 6.8 percent in 2011. (amna)