Economy of Greece

The economy of Greece is the 51st largest in the world with a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of $203.086 billion per annum. It is also the 55th largest in the world by purchasing power parity, at $307.367 billion per annum. As of 2017, Greece is the seventeenth-largest economy in the 28-member European Union. According to IMF estimates for 2018, Greece's GDP per capita was $20,408 at nominal value and $29,123 at purchasing power parity. Greece is a developed country with an economy based on the service (80%) and industrial sectors (16%), with the agricultural sector contributing an estimated 4% of national economic output in 2017. Important Greek industries include tourism and shipping. With 18 million international tourists in 2013, Greece was the 7th most visited country in the European Union and 16th in the world. The Greek Merchant Navy is the largest in the world, with Greek-owned vessels accounting for 15% of global deadweight tonnage as of 2013. The increased demand for international maritime transportation between Greece and Asia has resulted in unprecedented investment in the shipping industry. The country is a significant agricultural producer within the EU. Greece has the largest economy in the Balkans and is as an important regional investor. Greece was the largest foreign investor in Albania in 2013, the third in Bulgaria, in the top-three in Romania and Serbia and the most important trading partner and largest foreign investor in North Macedonia. The Greek telecommunications company OTE has become a strong investor in former Yugoslavia and in other Balkan countries. Greece is classified as an advanced, high-income economy, and was a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). The country joined what is now the European Union in 1981. In 2001 Greece adopted the euro as its currency, replacing the Greek drachma at an exchange rate of 340.75 drachmae per euro. Greece is a member of the International Monetary Fund and of the World Trade Organization, and ranked 34th on Ernst & Young's Globalization Index 2011. World War II (1939-1945) devastated the country's economy, but the high levels of economic growth that followed from 1950 to 1980 have been called the Greek economic miracle. From 2000 Greece saw high levels of GDP growth above the Eurozone average, peaking at 5.8% in 2003 and 5.7% in 2006. The subsequent Great Recession and Greek government-debt crisis, a central focus of the wider European debt crisis, plunged the economy into a sharp downturn, with real GDP growth rates of −0.3% in 2008, −4.3% in 2009, −5.5% in 2010, −9.1% in 2011, −7.3% in 2012 and −3.2% in 2013. In 2011, the country's public debt reached €356 billion (172% of nominal GDP). After negotiating the biggest debt restructuring in history with the private sector, Greece reduced its sovereign debt burden to €280 billion (137% of GDP) in the first quarter of 2012. Greece achieved a real GDP growth rate of 0.7% in 2014—after 6 years of economic decline—but contracted by 0.4% in 2015 and by 0.2% in 2016. The country returned to modest growth of 1.5% in 2017 and 1.9% in 2018.


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