ECONOMY

Economy has truly restarted

economy-has-truly-restarted

The strong growth in industrial turnover is an indication that the Greek economy is well and truly recovering from the pandemic.

Data released yesterday by independent statistical authority ELSTAT show that turnover in the industrial sector rose 13.9% year-on-year in May 2021, compared to May 2020, and a whopping 22.4% in June 2021.

This is not simply a rebound from the shrunken economy in the depths of the pandemic: In manufacturing, especially, turnover in the second quarter of 2021 was higher than the pre-pandemic second quarter of 2019.

The turnover of domestic-oriented production gained 15.4% year-on-year, while export-oriented turnover rose 36%.

In 2021, all industrial sectors saw their turnover increase, with basic metals, metal products, carbon coke, oil products and foodstuffs leading the way.

Food services, which reopened again in early May, after being under lockdwon since November 2020, predictably showed an even greater rebound. Turnover for the second quarter of 2021 was €1.04 billion, 62.3% higher than the second quarter of 2020. For the whole first half, turnover was nearly €1.5 billion, below 2020’s €1.61 billion and 2019’s €2.61 billion.

Accommodation, a sector under severe lockdown in 2020 and which only opened up on May 15, had a second-quarter turnover of €596.43 million, 452.3% higher than in the second quarter of 2020. First-quarter turnover in 2021 was just €97.97 million.

Analysts believe that gross domestic product (GDP) growth will hit double-digit figures in the second quarter of 2021 (April-June), and they remain optimistic about an almost equally good third quarter, based on the better-than-expected growth in tourism.

Eurostat has already releases second-quarter data for the eurozone, showing a GDP rise of 13.6%. Greece’s ELSTAT will release its own data on September 7.

Analysts also note that industrial production (up 8.8% in June and 9.6% for the whole half-year), retail sales (up 15% in May) and total turnover for the economy (29.4% for the whole second quarter) were very strong, and even tax revenue was satisfactory. 

The government is certain to revise its 2021 GDP growth estimate of 3.6% upward.