ECONOMY

Greeks are 40 pct poorer than in 2008

Greeks are on average almost 40 percent poorer than they were in 2008, according to data, laying bare the impact of a brutal recession and austerity measures the government may be forced to extend into next year.

Gross disposable incomes fell 29.5 percent between the second quarters of 2008 and 2013, statistics service ELSTAT said on Tuesday.

Adding in cumulative consumer price inflation over the same period takes the decline close to 40 percent.

Total workers’ compensation has fallen 34 percent since the second quarter of 2009.

Over the same period, the government slashed social benefits by 26 percent.

The statistics service said the deep economic malaise also affected household savings rates, which fell 8.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013 versus a 6.7 percent drop a year earlier.

Based on EU-IMF projections, Greece’s battered economy is expected to contract 4 percent this year before recovering modestly in 2014.

This would bring the total GDP decline in 2008-13 to 25 percent – making it the country’s biggest peacetime recession.

[Reuters]