Significant signs of economic recovery arise from almost all data published by the Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), sectoral surveys and measurements, and in general indicators that capture the state and dynamics of the country’s real economy. Today there was another similar barrage of announcements surrounding the course of the economy. In addition to lowering the unemployment rate by 1.8 percentage points in February by the statistical authority, ELSTAT released further data, including the rise in industrial output in March, both on a monthly basis and on an annual one.
Greek unemployment steadily heads downwards below 20%. In February, it dropped to 20.8%, or 1.8 percentage points lower than 22.6% in the same month last year. Although February appeared to show a certain “resistance” to declining unemployment due to the fact that in January it stood at 20.7%, on the one hand the general tendency not only narrowly on the labour market, but also more generally in the economy, and on the other hand auspicious indications for important sectors of the national economy, and more importantly the field of tourism, allow for optimism; optimism relevant to a rate of unemployment below 20%, for the first time since September 2011, at the end of 2018. Back in 2011, it stood at 19.1% but unexpectedly exceeded 20.1% translating to over 1 million unemployed people. Indeed, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Labour Andreas Nefelidis was clear:
“We are racing towards an unemployment figure way below 20%. Numbers such as the Q1 hirings that amount to 768,435 people are impressive.” According to the seasonally adjusted data of ELSTAT, the total of employed citizens stood at 3,735,098 in February, the figure of unemployed persons fell to 978,072 while the economically inactive population amounted to 3,277,165 people.
There was an industry rise
Meanwhile, industrial production rose on an annual and monthly basis in March, although it fell slightly in Q1 (0.6%). According to ELSTAT, the March Industrial Production Index, compared with that of March 2017, showed an increase of 1,1%, compared to the February 2018 index, when it increased by 2,5%.
The average Industrial Production Index in January-March 2018, had fallen by 0.6% compared to the same period in 2017.
The annual increase of 1.1% in March was mainly due to a large increase of 15% of the Electricity Production Index. On the contrary, what showed signs of improvement in the first quarter of this year were the manufacturing industries, whose output index rose by 1.7%…. / IBNA