The pandemic took a huge toll on almost all business activity in Greece last year, and not just companies whose operations were suspended for long periods. In absolute figures the losses were greater in activities that have a greater contribution to turnover, such as commerce, manufacturing, tourism and food service, as well as transport and storage activities due to the drop in demand.
The figures that the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) announced on Wednesday showed that turnover across the whole range of enterprises and economic activities amounted to 266.08 billion euros, compared to €307.7 billion in 2019 – i.e. a decline of 13.5%.
In other words some €41.6 billion was lost in a year, which amounts to about 23% of gross domestic product in 2019, without any sign of covering that this year: Retail commerce, which has the biggest economic activity in terms of turnover, is once again closed in the capital and many other areas of the country, tourism is completely out of action due to the ban on traveling, and food service has been suspended since November with the exception of takeaway and delivery services.
In total commerce missed out in €10.1 billion, as its turnover amounted to €112.53 billion, against €122.64 billion in 2019, a decline of 8.2%; manufacturing may not have been suspended but it did see a €7.1 billion drop due to the slump in consumption of a series of products, while the sector of hospitality and turnover in food service plummeted by more than half (53.4%), from €13.05 billion in 2019 to €6.07 billion last year.
The blow was greater for companies that had to close by state order, most of them twice (in March and November) last year. ELSTAT data show that the decline in turnover of the companies forced to shut down at least once in 2020 reached just €2.18 billion, against €6.72 billion a year earlier, which is an annual decline of 67.2%.
Estimates regarding the losses of retail commerce during the second lockdown alone amounted to approximately €1 billion.