Greek Economy to Shrink by 4.7% in 2020 Due to Virus; Strong Growth in 2021

ATHENS – The Greek economy will contract by 4.7 pct this year due to the crisis of the pandemic, but it will return to positive growth rate next year with a 5.1 pct growth, unemployment is expected to reach 20 pct in 2020, while due to the lockdown private consumption, investments, imports and exports are expected to drop significantly, the Greek Finance ministry said in a reform program sent to the European Commission in the framewor of the European Semester

According to the ministry, the Greek economy suffers a triple shock: one temporary but very strong shock in supply. A lockdown reduces production of goods and services, along with incomes of producers and labour force, a very strong shock in demand as a lockdown reduces consumption and third a very strong shock of uncertainty since both the duration and intensity of the phenomenon were unknown.

1. The reform program envisages a 4.7 pct economic recession this year based on the assumption that a healthcare crisis will gradually recede after the first half of 2020, with the economic impact expected to be visible in the second quarter of the year. The economy is projected to recover with a 5.1 pct growth rate in 2021.

2. The unemployment rate is projected to rise from 17.3 pct in 2019 to 19.9 pct in 2020 and to fall to 16.4 pct in 2021.

3. Private consumption is expected to fall by 4.1 pct this year reflecting losses of income and a suspension of consumption spending due to measures to restrict social contacts. Consumption is expected to grow by 4.2 pct in 2021. On the other hand, public consumption is expected to grow by 1.0 pct due to increased state spending.

4. The inflation rate is expected to return to 2019 levels (harmonized consumer price index) to -0.3 pct in 2020, rebounding to 0.6 pct in 2021.

5. Private investments (gross fixed capital formation) are expected to fall by 4.6 pct and to jump by 15.3 pct in 2021.

6. The state budget's primary surplus is expected to significantly fall short of the 3.5 pct of GDP aim for 2020.

7. Exports of goods and services are expected to drop by 19.2 pct this year, while imports are projected to fall by 14.2 pct. Both exports and imports are expected to grow by 19.2 pct and 15.6 pct, respectively in 2021.


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