ATHENS — GSEE, Greece's largest umbrella trade union organisation, on Wednesday said it was cautiously optimistic over economic developments in 2021 but noted that significant uncertainties such as deflation, a decline in wages and incomes, a drop in employment, consumption, exports and investments and a swelling fiscal deficit and public debt were cause for concern.
In an economic developments bulletin, published by the GSEE Research Institute INE, GSEE said that "almost a year after the pandemic broke out, the Greek economy, deeply wounded, is in an experimental condition of lifting restrictive measures. The report, conducted by INE/GSEE and Levy Economics Institute, said it expected an economic contraction of more than 10 pct in 2020 and stressed there was great concern over unemployment trends in the post-Covid era.
The report noted that manufacturing in Greece was more resilient compared with the rest of the Eurozone, since it contracted less both in the second and third quarters. Also in Greece, a decline of economic activity in retail and wholesale commerce, and hospitality in the second and third quarters, was the highest in all of the Eurozone (with the exception of Malta) and significantly contributed to a big drop in the real GDP in the country. The report said that a steadily lower level of employment, compared with the same period in 2019, is attributed – among others – to higher working hours, as in the third quarter 3.35 million people worked longer hours, with a 37.1 pct of them working more than 48 hours per week.