(Greece) – According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, or ELSTAT, the Greek economy has showed a very slight expansion. Although ELSTAT also reports that consumer spending and exports are both down, factors that could contribute to the strength of the economy, the recent figures from April – June show that the economy is expanding quartlery by 0.2%. Expansion rises such as these do show that the overall economic activity in the country is increasing. However, ELSTAT did predict that the economy would expand by 0.3% and the actual rate is slightly lower than anticipated.
Greece has been faced with an economic crisis since 2009 and since that time, the economy has shrunk by about 25% from what it was before the crisis, indicating that they are in a recession. The economy in Greece is about 179 billion euros total and is considered the 46th largest in the world. Economic expansion is measured by how much the overall Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, has risen. When economy starts to expand, it could indicate positive signs that a country’s efforts to repair the economy are starting to take root.
The country’s first bailout occurred in 2010, several months after the economic crisis first started. Earlier this year, they were approved for their third bailout. The first wave of funds from this bailout where used to pay off loan balances to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The international creditors who fund the loans have always said that Greece needs to minimize government spending and increase the amount of revenue coming in.
The austerity measures that have been attached to these economic reforms have been highly controversial. The Greek people have experienced tax increases, public salary decreases, pension decreases, and job losses due to the government reforms. The government believes that these bailouts are what the economy needs to be able to grow once again.