Economy returned to contraction in 2015, shrinking 0.2 pct

Economy returned to contraction in 2015, shrinking 0.2 pct

Greece returned to recession last year, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) confirmed on Friday, as gross domestic product declined 0.2 percent to 185 billion euros from 185.5 billion in 2014, the only year when GDP increased in the last eight years.

The state budget for 2016 was based on the assumption that the 2015 GDP had remained stable, so this difference will also have an impact on this year’s fiscal picture.

Investments declined 13.1 percent in 2015 on a yearly basis, sliding below the 20-billion-euro level: They amounted to 19.4 billion, from 22.4 billion in 2014. Total consumption came to 168.2 billion last year, posting a slight increase of 0.2 percent. Private consumption rose 0.3 percent year-on-year to reach 128.2 billion euros, while state consumption remained stable at 39.9 billion euros.

Exports fell to 53.4 billion euros against 55.5 billion in 2014, recording a 3.8 percent annual drop, while imports contracted 6.9 percent to 56.3 billion euros. That has seen the trade deficit shrink to 2.9 billion euros against 4.9 billion in 2014.

ELSTAT figures also showed that payment from employment grew 1.5 percent last year from 2014 to reach 59 billion euros, while taxes on production and imports were reduced by 3.1 percent to 26.9 billion euros, which is mainly attributed to the shrinking of imports.

There was also a decline in subsidies on production, amounting to about 4.2 billion euros in 2015 against approximately 4.5 billion in 2014, or an annual contraction of 5.3 percent.

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