Solidarity in the time of COVID-19 -- MS Supplement

Greek economy shrinks 1.6% in Q1

Greece's economy contracted in the first quarter as early measures against the coronavirus pandemic hurt business activity, the national statistics bureau reported on Thursday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 1.6 percent in the quarter compared with the previous three months, and by 0.9 percent year-on-year, Elstat said as it released provisional data.

It explained that a sharp drop in investment was the main reason for the fall, as that sub-category was down by 8.4 percent from the previous quarter.

But data for the month of March alone showed that month was not as bad as expected, government spokesman Stelios Petsas told a press conference.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has already warned the country that the economy would fall into a "deep recession" this year before rebounding in 2021.

The latest estimate by the finance ministry suggests that business activity could drop by up to 13 percent from the level in 2019.

Between 2009 and 2018, Greece suffered its worse economic crisis in modern times, and had begun to slowly regain some of the lost ground before it was hit by the impact of coronavirus restrictions.

The country was shut down for six weeks, and the International Monetary Fund forecast in May that GDP would decline by 10 percent this year before growing by 5.5 percent in 2021.

Topics: Gross domestic product , Greece , Economy , Kyriakos Mitsotakis , Stelios Petsas
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