Households saw their disposable income shrink by 5.5 billion euros last year, compared to 2014, according to data issued by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), illustrating that Greek families suffered a major drop in income while the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government was negotiating changes to the bailout program with the creditors.
Figures showed that the disposable income of households and nonprofit sectors of the economy fell by 4.5 percent, or 5.5 billion euros from 2014 to 2015, to 114.8 billion euros last year (against 120.3 billion in 2014). Households’ final consumption was reduced by 2.3 billion euros, or 1.8 percent year-on-year, to 122.8 billion euros (from 125.1 billion in 2014).
At the same time, the data on household savings showed a further deterioration: The saving rate (i.e. the ratio of gross savings to gross disposable income) was -7 percent in 2015, against -4 percent in 2015.
While these data concern last year, the government has taken additional austerity measures this year with an emphasis on increased taxes, and therefore it will be interesting to see this year’s disposable income and what the savings rate will be once the 2016 data come in.
ELSTAT statistics further showed that private investments shrank by 0.5 percent to 8.4 billion euros in 2015, from 8.5 billion in 2014.
The external balance of goods and services recorded a surplus of 300 million euros last year against a deficit of 4.3 billion euros in 2014, but this reversal is thanks to a major drop in imports rather than an increase in exports. Data revealed that the value of exports of goods and services fell to 56.1 billion euros from 57.8 billion the year before (i.e. by almost 3 percent). Last year was the first since 2010 when exports posted a decline on an annual basis. In 2010 exports had amounted to 50 billion euros, in 2011 they reached 52.9 billion, while in 2012 and 2013 they came to 54.8 billion euros.