Investments took a dive in Q4
Rise in private consumption, late spurt in exports not enough to prevent economy from contracting in 2016
The negative result of the revised economic figures for 2016, which pointed to a 0.05 percent yearly contraction on Monday, was the outcome of the decline in investments that offset the rise in consumption, along with the net negative impact of the external trade. That contraction will also have an adverse effect on 2017, too, which is already showing worrying signs.
According to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data processed by Eurobank, private consumption in the last quarter of 2016 increased 1.1 percent from the same period in 2015, for a total annual increase of 1.4 percent in 2016. In contrast, public consumption fell due to the state’s failure to pay its dues to suppliers.
Investments posted a major decline in Q4, amounting to 30.7 percent year-on-year, turning the figure for the year as a whole into a 0.9 percent drop.
Exports increased 5.7 percent in the October-December 2016 period from the year before, but overall in 2016 they declined 1.5 percent from 2015. Imports grew 3 percent in Q4 year-on-year and by 0.5 percent throughout 2016.
According to Eurobank’s chief economist Platon Monokroussos, the figures further point to a negative carryover effect into 2017 by 0.6 percent of gross domestic product. This effect – combined with the exceptionally adverse weather conditions at the start of the year and the increased uncertainty regarding the completion of the second bailout review – does not augur well for this year.
Sources say that the biggest impact on the downward revision of the GDP data for Q4 came from building permits, which posted a 12 percent decline, maritime transport services, which showed an 11.5 percent drop, and legal and ac- 1.0576 counting services, which shrank 1.5 percent.
The ELSTAT statement on Monday noted that its downward adjustment of the previous projection was due to the “incorporation of figures that were not available during the first estimate. These figures are either monthly, such as December’s external trade data, or quarterly, such as the service sector turnover indices and the manpower survey data.”