Greece's Great Depression, charted

Via the FT's Robin Wigglesworth comes this chart:

Greek RGDP fell by 28% between 2008 and the end of 2013. Since then it has increased by about 2%. This is recovery, apparently.

The most recent inflation figures show CPI inflation at -1.68% and HICP (core) inflation at -1.8%. , Yes, that is deflation. Indeed Greece has been persistently in deflation for the last six years.

Annualised growth figures show RGDP currently growing by 0.6%.

Using either measure of inflation, NGDP is negative. The ECB's preferred HICP measure gives NGDP of -1.2%.

I suppose, when you are starving, crumbs look like a square meal.

Related reading:

Celebrating the Spanish recovery 


  1. Right. I guess it is difficult to say things are getting back to normal when even your population is declining. At 11 million, Greece's population is back to 2006 levels, and is still falling. At 3.5 million, total employed persons is a million below the 4.5 million peak in 2008, and well below the 4.25 million level of 2006. And like population, total employed persons is still falling.

    Greece is starting to face the same problem as a bad investor. If you lose 10% of your capital, you have to make 11% just to get back to even. If you lose 20% you have to make 25% to break even. Greece has lost 25% of GDP in six years, so it has to regain 33% of GDP just to get back to where it was six years ago.

  2. According to finance blogs and mainstream media, the change in the short term is an inherent step in the process of normalizing the functioning of the euro that was previously distorted . If you don't like the euro just say so.

    1. I don't, and I have said so. More than once.

    2. "...the change in the short term is an inherent step in the process of normalizing the functioning of the euro that was previously distorted"

      Nice one. "Was distorted". That makes it sound as if it had something happen to it. In reality the distortion of the euro *is* the euro. It is distorted because different economies trying to use the same currency and the same interest rate is bound to lead to distortions. Now we have contortions to try to undo the distortions, to lead us to "growth and stability".

  3. GDP has no real meaning for most , its a measure of activity rather then wealth.

    According to the Irish CSO wages continued its decline in q3 ( published 25 Nov)
    Hours worked up a bit.
    They are clearly chasing scarce money so as to maintain wealth concentration of the few
    But the heavy use of capital goods used for distribution is extractive of rel purchasing power.
    Given the certain collapse of European civilisation if this I to continue then we need. More direct distribution and a return to village life.

  4. The little Irish hockey stick of 2014 is merely a measure of extreme sysiphusism.
    What can one say ?
    The distributionists have again been proven wildly correct.
    But winning the argument destroys one reputation I hear.

    Indeed its much worse then that.
    You get struck off the existance thingy.
    How many now recall Eimar o Duffy calling Keynes out.
    We just hear this inane Austrian vs mmt argument.

  5. Deflation is a good thing if you have a certain income and no debt contracts.
    So why not give everybody a income and declare bank hyperinflation / debt traps null and void.

    Evil men such as Lorenzo bini smaghi calling for inflation of costs without giving people company chips ( a famine / economic war crime policy) points to their demonic character.

  6. Starting the chart in 2008 dramatises it one way. If you wanted to make the opposite case you'd start it in 2000, putting the sharp fall in the context of the incredibly rapid growth in the early EMU period. Basically Greece, like Spain and Ireland, are back where they were in 2005/6. Three years of bubble driven growth have been unrolled, over five years, in all the countries.

    1. Very true. So, I'll write a post showing that the Great Depression was simply the unwinding of a credit-driven bubble and all it did was bring GDP down to where it should have been. Ok with you?

    2. Awaiting for the promised post, I remember Edward Hugh's nice turn of phrase: "What happened back in 2009 was not a case of long established living standards being suddenly slashed, it was a case of them being cut back to where they were before they were raised in an unsustainable way in order to win elections."

    3. Increasing the amount of capital goods needed for distribution is not about raising living stantards , its about increasing profits.
      What is Hugh talking about ?
      French and Italian wine consumption was 3 4 or 5 times higher before the euro / americsn
      The people had adequate purchasing power to buy local goods.
      Goods overproduction costs are now socialized.
      All costs of production reflected in consumption, if you subtract the costs needed to access basic consumption then current consumption is a tiny fraction of 1960s levels

    4. OK, so the EU was always a slow-growth story, "growth and stability" was always an empty dream, low unemployment was an illusion, and stuff about "Celtic Tigers" was always nonsense? I think I can live with that.

      One question, though. What exactly was the point of building this Potemkin Village only to see the wind blow it over?

  7. The final phase of the bubble began after the 1992 signing or act of union phase with the short pause of the emu crisis masking the scaling up of bank operations
    We are not back to 2008 , 2002. , 1998, 1992 , 1979 , 1973...... we are now in a different banked universe.
    Samir amin has talked of the transition period of national capitalistic monopolies as between the period 1975 and 1990.
    Bini smaghi has been quite clear recently
    Inflation or costs of 'investment' must increase with no increase in the amount of company chips.
    Policy in Europe orbits the production of various money famines.

  8. Yes looking at the irish
    CSO data
    Revised weekly earnings down 1.5% ( q2 2013 -2014)
    Why are people looking at GDP ?
    What domestic residents benefit if traffic jams are up year.

    A collection of human do
    nkeys chasing after carrots is not a good measurement of human progress.

  9. Hey ! Let's not forget Alogoskoufis' 2007 +25 pct 2007 GDP revision!

  10. I would be more inclined to feel pity for the Greeks but their whole system is so corrupt that they are stuck reaping the chaos that they've sown. Short of a national ethics baptism the Greeks are doomed to repeating the mistakes of the past. Overspend, default, bailout, repeat.

    1. How do you overspend money / tokens/ available Chips.....
      Is not money designed to be spent ???????

      Me thinks the money itself was defective, not the Greeks who are mere conduits like the rest of us.
      The masons time value money is the problem.
      Only mechanism to overcome this is the national dividend ( not national income)
      However its gone so far in Greece , Spain etc that they need to return to the village.
      They can only do this however if the banks are stopped.

    2. True the whole system post Bretton Woods (IMF, World Bank) is corrupt. Keynes did propose the bancor. In short, after the war, surplus nations would share the burden of adjustment with the deficit nations. But now, Greece has to make the adjustments only, without the supposed "solidarity" of Germany.

  11. Have you got a similar chart for GDP per HEAD? I am pretty sure the UK figure is only upwards due to continuing stuffing of the UK with people that need to eat/buy clothes/get arrested/break windows etc etc

    1. I don't share your xenophobia, I'm afraid. The vast majority of crime in the UK is committed by residents, not immigrants. For your information, however, GDP per capita is actually rising, though not fast.

    2. Even that small increase per capita should be celebrated.

      Would be interested to see Cyprus as an additional comparative - despite its relative small size.

    3. Do you have it in GBP? Stating it in dollars when the pound has had a very strong run against the dollar for the past few years makes it look better than it really is.....lies damn lies and all that!

    4. No, I don't I'm afraid. I'm sure you could go through ONS statistics yourself.

  12. Francis
    You represent British interests.
    As in you direct energy towards the centre of the capitalistic maw and frown on people who express concern for village interests.
    There is a complete breakdown of trust in my city.
    Just yesterday I was approached by a man claiming to be Bosnian , he presented a laminated card describing his plight.
    For the first time ever I felt threatened in daylight , fully expecting to be jumped.
    20 + years ago I might have given him the benefit if the doubt but today that would be very foolish.
    The tradition of hospitality to travellers has been shattered in all masonic towns from Cork to Foix.
    This lack of trust is currently imposing great hidden costs on society.
    All so yes guys can concentrate even more wealth claims.
    Your apparent concern for fellow Human beings dies not cut any ice with this dork


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