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Greece Economy


Greece operates a capitalist economy that produced a GDP of $305.595 billion in 2006. Its principal economic activities include tourism and shipping industries, banking and finance, manufacturing and construction and telecommunications. The country serves as the regional business hub for many of the world's largest multinational companies.

The people of Greece enjoy a high standard of living. Greece ranks 24th in the 2006 HDI, 22nd on The Economist's 2005 world-wide quality-of-life index, and, according to the International Monetary Fund it has an estimated average per capita income of $33,004 for the year 2006, comparable to that of Germany, France and Italy, and approximately equal to the EU average.

Greece's present prosperity is largely owed to the post-World War II "Greek economic miracle" (when GDP growth averaged 7% between 1950 and 1973), the implementation of a number of structural and fiscal reforms, combined with considerable European Union funding over the last twenty-five years and increasing private consumption. The latter facts have contributed to a consistent annual growth of the Greek GDP that was surpassing the respective one of most other EU partners.

Today, the service industry (74.4%) makes up the largest, most vital and fastest-growing sector of the Greek economy, followed by industry (20.6%) and agriculture (5.1%). The tourism industry is a major source of foreign exchange earnings and revenue accounting for 15% of Greece’s total GDP and employing (directly or indirectly) 659,719 people (or 16.5% of total employment). In 2005, Greece welcomed almost 18 million visitors and in 2006 that figure almost reached 20 million.

The Greek banking & finance sector is also an important source of revenue and employment and Greek banks have invested heavily in the Balkan region. The manufacturing sector accounts for about 13% of GDP with the food industry leading in growth, profit and export potential. Greece is the leading investor in all of her Balkan neighbours.

High-technology equipment production, especially for telecommunications, is also a fast-growing sector. Other important areas include textiles, building materials, machinery, transport equipment, and electrical appliances. Construction (10%GDP) and agriculture (7%) are yet two other significant sectors of the Greek economic activity.


Economy - overview :
Greece has a capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP at least 75% of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The Greek economy grew by nearly 4.0% per year between 2003 and 2006, due partly to infrastructural spending related to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and in part to an increased availability of credit, which has sustained record levels of consumer spending. Greece violated the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criteria of no more than 3% of GDP from 2001 to 2005, but finally appears on track to meet that criteria in 2006. Public debt, inflation, and unemployment are above the euro-zone average, but are falling. The Greek Government continues to grapple with cutting government spending, reducing the size of the public sector, and reforming the labour and pension systems, in the face of often vocal opposition from the country's powerful labour unions and the general public.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$256.5 billion (2006 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$224 billion (2006 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
4.3% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$24,000 (2006 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 20.8%
services: 75.9% (2006 est.)

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