Nasty surprise from GDP figures reveals a contraction of 0.7 percent in 2015


Reality has proved the government wrong in its estimates, as the provisional figures compiled by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) regarding the course of the economy in the last quarter of 2015 showed a 1.9 percent year-on-year contraction, bringing the total drop in last year’s gross domestic product to 0.7 percent, against the forecast for zero recession included in the state budget.

This will likely hamper the government in its negotiations with its creditors, given that Athens’s original position was that there would be no need for extra fiscal measures in 2016.

The figures will strengthen the creditors’ demand for more interventions this year and next.

The country’s GDP last year amounted to 184.4 billion euros, against 185.6 billion in 2014, with the economy growing 0.5 percent in the first half of 2015 before declining 1.9 percent in the second half on an annual basis, illustrating the impact that the closure of the banks and the capital controls had on the economy.

In the last quarter of 2015 GDP amounted to 45.6 billion euros.