ECONOMY

ELSTAT finds economy contracted by 6.4 pct in 2012

Last year’s recession amounted to 6.4 percent as gross domestic product shrank to 195.2 billion euros, according to the first official estimate by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), released on Tuesday. This means that from the start of the crisis in 2008 up to end-2012 the Greek economy contracted by 27.5 billion euros, or 12.3 percent.

ELSTAT figures show that last year’s recession was mostly due to the dramatic decline in investments, although all main economic elements contributed in the drop of GDP with the exception of imports.

Investments shrank by 19.2 percent last year compared with the year before, after a 19.6 percent fall in 2011. Private consumption declined for a fourth consecutive year, by 9.1 percent on a yearly basis, which is the highest contraction rate since 2009. Public (state) consumption contracted by 4.2 percent. Exports declined by 2.4 percent from 2011 having grown by 0.3 percent in 2011 and by 5.2 percent in 2010. Imports dropped by a considerable 13.8 percent owing to the reduced demand for commodities, although this led to an improvement in the course of the trade balance as the deficit has decreased.