About Greece and Key Financial Statistics

About Greece and Key Financial Statistics

Overview of Economy:

Greece has a capitalist economy with a public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 18% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The Greek economy averaged growth of about 4% per year between 2003 and 2007, but the economy went into recession in 2009 as a result of the world financial crisis, tightening credit conditions, and Athens' failure to address a growing budget deficit. By 2013 the economy had contracted 26%, compared with the pre-crisis level of 2007. Greece met the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criterion of no more than 3% of GDP in 2007-08, but violated it in 2009, with the deficit reaching 15% of GDP. Austerity measures reduced the deficit to about 4% in 2013, including government debt payments, but the deficit spiked to 12.7% of GDP in 2014. Deteriorating public finances, inaccurate and misreported statistics, and consistent underperformance on reforms prompted major credit rating agencies to downgrade Greece's international debt rating in late 2009, and led the country into a financial crisis. Under intense pressure from the EU and international market participants, the government adopted a medium-term austerity program that includes cutting government spending, decreasing tax evasion, overhauling the health-care and pension systems, and reforming the labor and product markets. Athens, however, faced long-term challenges to continue pushing through unpopular reforms in the face of widespread unrest from the country's powerful labor unions and the general public.

In April 2010, a leading credit agency assigned Greek debt its lowest possible credit rating, and in May 2010, the International Monetary Fund and Euro-Zone governments provided Greece emergency short- and medium-term loans worth $147 billion so that the country could make debt repayments to creditors. In exchange for the largest bailout ever assembled, the government announced combined spending cuts and tax increases totaling $40 billion over three years, on top of the tough austerity measures already taken. Greece, however, struggled to meet 2010 targets set by the EU and the IMF, especially after Eurostat - the EU's statistical office - revised upward Greece's deficit and debt numbers for 2009 and 2010. European leaders and the IMF agreed in October 2011 to provide Athens a second bailout package of $169 billion. The second deal however, called for holders of Greek government bonds to write down a significant portion of their holdings. As Greek banks held a significant portion of sovereign debt, the banking system was adversely affected by the write down and $60 billion of the second bailout package was set aside to ensure the banking system was adequately capitalized. In exchange for the second loan, Greece promised to introduce an additional $7.8 billion in austerity measures during 2013-15. However, the massive austerity cuts have prolonged Greece's economic recession and depressed tax revenues. Greece's lenders have continually called on Athens to step up efforts to increase tax collection, dismiss public servants, privatize public enterprises, and rein in health spending.

Investor confidence began to show signs of strengthening by the end of 2013, and the decline in GDP slowed to 3.9% that year, Greece’s best performance since 2009. Greece subsequently marked three significant milestones in 2014: balancing its 2013 budget - not including debt repayments; re-entering financial markets in April with the first issue of government debt since 2010; and posting its first quarter of positive growth since 2008. Buoyed by Greece’s success, Prime Minister Antonios SAMARAS in October announced plans to exit its bailout program early, provoking a plunge in the Greek stock and debt markets that pushed Greece back to the negotiating table with its creditors and ultimately resulted in an agreement to extend the EU portion of Greece’s bailout through February 2015. The Greek economy posted an annual economic growth rate of 0.8 percent in 2014, the first year of positive growth since 2008. However, widespread discontent with austerity measures resulted in a victory for the anti-austerity SYRIZA in the January 2015 parliamentary elections. In February, Greece reached a tentative agreement with its creditors that would provide emergency liquidity to Greece in exchange for significant economic reforms. Uncertainty regarding Greece’s future in the Eurozone has dampened investor confidence and lowered growth projections for 2015.

Gross Domestic Product (In USD):

$285.3 billion (2014 est.)

$283.1 billion (2013 est.)

$294.6 billion (2012 est.)

Composition of Gross Domestic Product:

% Agricuture: 3.8

% Industry: 13.3

% Services: 82.8

Composition of Labor Force by Occupation:

% Agriculture: 12.9

% Industry: 14.7

% Services: 72.4

Per Capita Income:

$26,000 (2014 est.)

$25,800 (2013 est.)

$26,800 (2012 est.)


$35.6 billion (2014 est.)

$35.72 billion (2013 est.)

Key Export Commodities:

food and beverages, manufactured goods, petroleum products, chemicals, textiles

Export Partners:

Turkey 12.2%, Italy 9.4%, Germany 6.8%, Bulgaria 5.3%, Cyprus 5% (2014)


$65.2 billion (2014 est.)

$63.32 billion (2013 est.)

Key Import Commodities:

machinery, transport equipment, fuels, chemicals

Import Partners:

Germany 10.2%, Russia 10%, Iraq 8.2%, Italy 8.1%, China 5.2%, Kazakhstan 5.1%, Netherlands 5%, France 4.6% (2014)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Price Index):

-1.5% (2014 est.)

-1.2% (2013 est.)

Exchange Rate to USD:

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.7489 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.7185 (2011 est.)

0.755 (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

26.6% (2014 est.)

27.5% (2013 est.)

S&P Rating:

Standard & Poor's Ratings:

    • AAA: The best quality borrowers, reliable and stable

    • AA: Quality borrowers, a bit higher risk than AAA

    • A: Economic situation can affect finance

    • BBB: Medium class borrowers, which are satisfactory at the moment

    • BB: More prone to changes in the economy

    • B: Financial situation varies noticeably

    • CCC: An obligor rated currently vulnerable, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.

Ref 2012-2014: CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, PWC, EY, Standard & Poors ratings