(Greece) – According to Eurostat, the statistical organization for the European Union, Greek exports have declined by 8% in the first half of 2016, which represented the largest drop in exports amongst other EU member countries. Also according to the statistical organization, the value of exports that occurred from January of 2016 to June of 2016 totaled 12 billion euros and 7.1 billion euros of this went to fellow EU member countries while 4.9 billion euros of this went to outside of the EU. Experts to EU members states were up by 1% when compared to 2015 but exports to countries outside of the EU were down by 18%.
It is hard to know exactly why exports have fallen as much as they have. However, a likely reason is that Greece has been in a recession since before the first bailout, which took place in 2010. Between that, the country’s capital controls, which were only just recently eased, and other factors have made it difficult for Greek companies to effectively market their products to global markets. Economic difficulties elsewhere in the world could also be impacting exports in Greece. For example, in the United Kingdom, the value of the pound is less than the value of the Euro, and this is said to play a part in this decrease.
Greece is the world’s 46th largest economy with a GDP of around 195 billion US dollars per year. The goods that the country exports includes petroleum, aluminum, pharmaceuticals, plastics, vegetables, and more. It is expected that as the overall economy in Greece rebounds, so will the exports.
Greece recently received the first payment from its third bailout since the initial one in 2010. The country needs this money to pay off loan balances to the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The austerity measures that have come with these bailouts have caused further economic hardships amongst the Greek people. However, the Greek government believes that it is doing the right thing to help the country rebound.