The Economy of Greece

Economic Development
According to the World Bank, the Gross Domestic Product of Greece was 236.08 billion USD in 2014, rank 44 globally. The GDP per capita was 21627.35 USD positioning Greece at rank number 37 in the world in terms of economic development.

However, GDP per capita in USD may not correctly reflect the real incomes in a country. Many countries with high income also have high prices and, similarly, many countries with low income have low prices. The purchasing power parity (PPP) income accounts for such differences in prices so we can answer the question: "What would be the income in Greece if its citizens paid U.S. prices?" World Bank data from 2014 show that GDP per capita in Greece in PPP terms was 23989 USD which places Greece at rank 49 in the world.

Yet, others argue that GDP per capita in USD or in PPP terms may be an incomplete measure of social welfare. For a more comprehensive indicator, we could look at the Human Development Index developed by the United Nations. The HDI ranges from 0 (low development) to 1 (high development) and reflects income as well as life expectancy and education. The value of the Human Development Index for Greece in 2014 is 0.865, rank 30 in the world.
Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
GDP, billion USD 236.08 44 2014
GDP per capita, USD 21627.35 37 2014
GDP per capita, PPP, USD 23989 49 2014
Human Development Index 0.865 30 2014


International Trade and Investment
The total value of exports of goods and services from Greece to the rest of the world is 32.50 percent of its GDP. For that indicator, Greece ranks at place 100 globally. Note that if exports are greater than about 60 percent of GDP, this indicates an export-oriented economy. In contrast, values lower than about 15 percent of GDP indicate a relatively closed economy.

The trade balance of Greece, i.e. the value of exports minus imports, is -2.44 percent of GDP. Note that a negative number means a trade deficit and a positive number means a trade surplus. An even more useful indicator is the Current Account balance which includes the trade balance as well as income received or sent by the country and gifts and foreign aid. The value for Greece is -1.58 percent of GDP. Current account deficits greater than about 4 percent of GDP for many years are typically not sustainable. They have to be financed by new international debt every year leading to high levels of indebtedness and currency crises.

We can look at the international competitiveness of Greece using the Competitiveness index of the World Trade Organization. The index ranks countries on a 1 - 7 scale and reflects the stability of a country, its health, education, market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness, market size, and innovation. For that indicator, Greece is at rank 81 in the world with a value of 4.04 points.

Foreign direct investment into Greece was 1.68 billion USD in 2014 which is 1.14 percent of GDP. We look primarily at the percent of GDP as opposed to the dollar amounts because larger economies would normally attract greater volumes of foreign investment. Values above 4-5 percent of GDP suggest that the country is an attractive foreign investment destination.

Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Exports, percent of GDP 32.50 100 2014
Trade balance, percent of GDP -2.44 79 2014
Current account balance, percent of GDP -1.58 65 2014
Competitiveness index, 1 (low) - 7 (high) 4.04 81 2014
Foreign Direct Investment, percent of GDP 1.14 139 2014
Foreign Direct Investment, billion USD 1.68 76 2014


Financial System
The development of the banking system, a key part of the financial system of any country, is reflected in the level of credit to the private sector as percent of GDP. Credit allows firms to expand their production and to improve their technology. It also allows households to spread large expenses over time such as for a house, vehicles or education. The average value for the world for that indicator is about 45 percent of GDP. Values below 15 percent of GDP are considered very low whereas values in excess of 100 percent of GDP bring no additional benefit to the economy. According to the International Monetary Fund, the value of that indicator for Greece is 116.43 percent, rank 15 in the world.

In terms of access to banking services, we can look at the number of ATMs per 100,000 people, an indicator in the IMF's database on financial development. For Greece, the IMF reports 59.09 ATMs per 100,000 people which places Greece at rank 46 globally.

The other main component of the financial system is the stock market. Like banks, it serves to channel the free money in the economy (savings) to various business projects. The size of the stock market in Greece is measured by its so-called capitalization, i.e. the number of outstanding shares times their prices, as percent of GDP. For Greece, that indicator has a value of 23.36 percent of GDP.

The capitalization of a stock market measures its volume but not necessarily its activity. Some countries have large stock markets where relatively few large companies are listed and whose shares are seldom traded. For the activity of stock markets we look at the so-called turnover ratio: the total value of shares traded during a period divided by the average market capitalization for that period. The turnover ratio in Greece is 42.64 percent. As a reference, the stock market turnover ratio in the very active stock markets is about 100 percent or higher while in the least active stock markets it is below 20 percent.
Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Bank credit to the private sector, percent of GDP 116.43 15 2014
ATMs per 100,000 people 59.09 46 2014
Stock market capitalization, percent of GDP 23.36 49 2014
Stock market turnover ratio 42.64 17 2015


Rule of Law
The World Bank publishes a very useful index called "Rule of Law" that captures perceptions of the extent to which people in Greece and other countries have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence. The index has been compiled for many years and is comparable across countries. You can click on the link to it in the table and explore its trends for Greece over time as well as its components. It ranges from -2.5 (weak rule of law) to 2.5 (strong rule of law). The rule of law in Greece is scored at 0.34 in 2015, rank 63 globally.

Transparency International is an NGO that has tracked the perceptions of corruption in many countries for many years. For each country, they collect data from multiple surveys and produce a composite measure: the "Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index." The index ranges from 0 (pervasive corruption) to 100 (no corruption). Based on 2015 data, the value of that indicator for Greece is 46 which places Greece at position 58 in the world.

The "Civil Liberties" index published annually by the Freedom House measures the freedom of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights. The range is from 1 (strong civil rights) to 7 (weak civil rights). On that count, the score for Greece in 2014 was 2.
Indicator
Value
Global rank
Year
Rule of law, -2.5 (weak) - 2.5 (strong) 0.34 63 2014
Corruption Perceptions Index, 0 (high corruption) - 100 (low corruption) 46 58 2015
Civil Liberties, 1 (strong) - 7(weak) 2 See world ranking 2014


Main economic indicators
Economic growth: the rate of change of real GDP
Gross Domestic Product, billions of U.S. dollars
Gross Domestic Product, billions of 2010 U.S. dollars
GDP per capita, current U.S. dollars
GDP per capita, Purchasing Power Parity
GDP per capita, constant 2010 dollars
Human Development Index (0 - 1)
Inflation: percent change in the Consumer Price Index
Capital investment as percent of GDP
Capital investment, billion USD
Household consumption as percent of GDP
Household consumption, billion USD
Household debt to GDP, in percent
Savings as percent of GDP
Savings, billion USD
Government spending as percent of GDP
Government spending, billion USD
Government debt as percent of GDP
Value added by industry as percent of GDP
Value added by the manufacturing sector as percent of GDP
Value added in the services sector as percent of GDP
Industry value added, billion USD
Manufacturing value added, billion USD
Services value added, billion USD
Shares of world totals
Percent of world population
Percent of world GDP
Percent of world exports
Percent of world imports
Percent of world oil reserves
Percent of world Foreign Direct Investment
International transactions
Exchange rate: local currency units per U.S. dollar
Terms of trade, base year = 2000
Trade openness: exports plus imports as percent of GDP
Exports of goods and services as percent of GDP
Exports of goods and services, billion USD
Exports of goods and services, annual growth
Imports of goods and services as percent of GDP
Imports of goods and services, billion USD
Foreign Direct Investment, percent of GDP
Foreign Direct Investment, billion USD
Net portfolio equity inflows
Current account balance as percent of GDP
Current account balance, billion USD
Trade balance as percent of GDP
Trade balance, billion USD
Foreign exchange reserves including gold, billion U.S. dollars
Remittances
Competitiveness - World Economic Forum index (1-7)
Labor force
Labor force, million people
Unemployment rate
Unemployment rate for females
Unemployment rate for males
Youth unemployment, ages 15-24
Unemployed for longer than a year, percent of all unemployed
Labor force participation rate
Labor force, percent female
Female labor force participation rate
Male labor force participation rate
Dependent people as percent of the working age population
Infrastructure and transport
Internet users, per 100 people
Broadband internet subscribers
Number of fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people
Mobile phone subscribers, in millions
Mobile phone subscribers, per 100 people
Airline passengers of domestically owned airlines
Railroad lines, total length in km
Volume of goods transported by railways
Railway passengers
Number of 20-foot containers passing through the ports
Quality of air transport infrastructure, 1(low) - 7(high)
Quality of roads, 1(low) - 7(high)
Quality of railroad infrastructure, 1(low) - 7(high)
Quality of port infrastructure, 1(low) - 7(high)
Mobile network coverage, percent of the population
International Internet bandwidth per Internet user, kb/s
New commercial vehicle sales, numbers per year
New passenger car sales, numbers per year
Energy and environment
Gasoline prices at the pump, in dollars per liter
Diesel prices at the pump, in dollars per liter
Energy use per capita
Alternative and nuclear energy, percent of total energy use
Energy use per $1000 of GDP
Electricity production from renewable sources, million kWh
Carbon dioxide emissions, thousands of tonnes
Carbon dioxide emissions per capita
Energy imports as percent of total energy use
GDP per unit of energy used
Income from natural resources, percent of GDP
Revenue minus production cost of oil, percent of GDP
Revenue minus production cost of natural gas, percent of GDP
Access to electricity, percent of the population
Agriculture
Forest area, percent of total land area
Percent agricultural land
Employment in agriculture, % of total employment
Value added in the agricultural sector as percent of GDP
Agriculture value added, billion USD
Agriculture value added per worker, constant 2005 U.S. dollars
Agricultural land, sq. km.
Arable land, percent of total land area
Precipitation, mm per year
Cereal yield, kg per hectar
Crop production index (2004-2006 = 100)
Fertilizer use, kg per hectare of arable land
Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)
Forest area, sq. km
Livestock production index (2004-2006 = 100)
Rural population, percent of total population
Banking system access
Bank credit to the private sector as percent of GDP
Interest rates on bank credit to the private sector
Real interest rate: Bank lending rate minus inflation measured by the GDP deflator
ATM machines per 100,000 adults
Credit information sharing index, 0 (low) - 8 (high)
Index of legal rights for creditors and borrowers (0 - 12)
Bank credit to government and public enterprises, percent of GDP
Foreign bank assets as percent of the total bank assets
Bank branches per 1000 people
Banking system stability
Non-performing loans as percent of all bank loans
Banking system z-scores
Banking system capital, percent of assets
Bank credit as percent of bank deposits
Banking system regulatory capital to risk-weighted assets
Bank liquid assets to deposits and short-term funding
Banking system efficiency
Bank's net interest revenue, percent of interest-bearing assets
Bank overhead costs, percent of total assets
Bank return on assets, in percent
Bank return on equity, in percent
Bank lending-deposit interest rate spread
Bank non-interest income to total income, in percent
Bank cost to income ratio, in percent
Stock market
Stock market capitalization as percent of GDP
Stock market capitalization, billion USD
Stock market turnover ratio
Number of companies listed on the stock exchange
Stock market value traded, percent of GDP
Stock price volatility, percent
Stock market return, percent
Stock market capitalization w/o top 10 firms, percent of total market cap
Stock market value traded w/o top 10 firms, % of total value traded
Investment financed with equity or stock sales, percent of total investment
Insurance, non-banks and pensions
Pension fund assets as percent of GDP
Innovation
Innovations index (0-100)
Research and development expenditure, percent of GDP
Information technology exports, percent of total goods exports
High technology exports
High tech exports, percent of manufactured exports
Patent applications by residents
Taxes
Corporate tax rate
Personal income tax rate
Indirect tax rate
Tax revenue, percent of GDP
Tax rate, percent of commercial profits
Tax preparation time, in hours
Number of taxes paid by businesses
Taxes on goods and services, percent of total revenue
Taxes on international trade, percent of total revenue
Income, profits, and capital gains taxes: percent of revenue
Governance and political system
Rule of law index (-2.5 weak; 2.5 strong)
Government effectiveness index (-2.5 weak; 2.5 strong)
Control of corruption (-2.5 weak; 2.5 strong)
Regulatory quality index (-2.5 weak; 2.5 strong)
Voice and accountability index (-2.5 weak; 2.5 strong)
Political stability index (-2.5 weak; 2.5 strong)
Corruption Perceptions Index, 100 = no corruption
Political rights index, 7 (weak) - 1 (strong)
Civil liberties index, 7 (weak) - 1 (strong)
Women in parliament, percent
Economic freedom
Property rights index (0-100)
Freedom from corruption index (0-100)
Fiscal freedom index (0-100)
Business freedom index (0-100)
Labor freedom index (0-100)
Monetary freedom index (0-100)
Trade freedom index (0-100)
Investment freedom index (0-100)
Financial freedom index (0-100)
Economic freedom, overall index (0-100)
Health
Health spending per capita
Health spending as percent of GDP
Life expectancy, in years
The number of births per 1000 people, per year
Death rate, per 1000 people
Fertility rate, births per woman
Prevalence of HIV, percent of the population ages 15-49
Cases of Tuberculosis per 100,000 people
Percent of the rural population with access to improved drinking water
Percent of the urban population with access to improved drinking water
Suicide mortality rate, per 100,000 population
Education
Public spending on education, percent of GDP
Public spending on education, percent of government spending
Literacy rate
Female literacy rate, ages 15-24
Male literacy rate, ages 15-24
Youth literacy rate, ages 15-24
Student teacher ratio, primary school
Primary school completion rate
Primary school starting age
Ratio of female to male pupils in primary school
Ratio of female to male students in secondary school
Ratio of female to male students in tertiary level education
Preprimary school enrollment, percent of all eligible children
Primary school enrollment, percent of all eligible children
Secondary school enrollment, percent of all eligible children
Tertiary school enrollment, percent of all eligible children
Globalization
Globalization index (0-100)
Economic globalization index (0-100)
Political globalization index (0-100)
Social globalization index (0-100)
Country risk
Short-term political risk (1=low, 7=high)
Long-term political risk (1=low, 7=high)
Special transactions risk, (1=low, 7=high)
Transfer risk, (1=low, 7=high)
Expropriation risk, (1=low, 7=high)
War risk, (1=low, 7=high)
Industry: Oil, coal, and electricity
Oil reserves, billion barrels
Oil production, thousand barrels per day
Gasoline production, thousand barrels per day
Jet fuel production, thousand barrels per day
Liquefied petroleum gas production, thousand barrels per day
Oil consumption, thousand barrels per day
Gasoline consumption, thousand barrels per day
Jet fuel consumption, thousand barrels per day
Liquefied petroleum gas consumption, thousand barrels per day
Coal production, thousand short tons
Coal consumption, thousand short tons
Coal imports, thousand short tons
Coal exports, thousand short tons
Electricity production, billion kilowatthours
Hydroelectricity generation, billion kilowatthours
Electricity consumption, billion kilowatthours
Electricity production capacity, million kilowatts
Electricity imports, billion kilowatthours
Electricity exports, billion kilowatthours
Renewable power generation, billion kilowatthours
Renewable power consumption, billion kilowatthours
Crime
Number of prisoners per 100,000 people
Homicides per 100,000 people
Kidnappings per 100,000 people
Robberies per 100,000 people
Thefts per 100,000 people
Religions
Christians as percent of the total population
Muslims as percent of the total population
Eastern Orthodox Christians as percent of the total population
Other indicators
Population size, in millions
Percent urban population
The cost of starting a business, % of income per capita
The number of documents required for exporting activity
The number of documents needed for importing goods
Military spending, in million U.S. dollars
Military spending, percent of GDP
Happiness Index, 0 (unhappy) - 10 (happy)
Land area in sq. km
Female population, percent of total
Population ages 0-14, percent of total
Population ages 65 and above, percent of total
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