GREEK NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY BOARD ANNUAL REPORT 2022
National Productivity Board. 2022. | ISSN 2732-9305 (Print) ISSN: 2732-9313 (Online)
As economies are trying to recover from the pandemic-induced recession, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and inflationary pressures pose additional challenges.
The findings of this report show the fast recovery of the Greek economy from the pandemic shock as well as substantial improvements in growth and several productivity indices, such as 7.6% in labour productivity per person employed, 4% in total factor productivity (TFP) and 8.4% in per capita output. Tourism and transport are among those industries which experienced the highest increases in labour input, capital input and TFP, while the capital productivity performance of the Greek economy is top rated among the European economies.
However, the current conditions tend to increase uncertainty and threaten to upend growth dynamics. The rate of downward adjustment in the medium run will rely on several factors, such as the government expenditure to contain the adverse impact of inflation, the implementation of the scheduled investments and the course of tourism receipts. Specifically, income and import substitution policies can contain energy prices and favourably contribute to the price formation of industrial sectors.
From the stakeholders’ viewpoint, the major problems inhibiting the productivity of the Greek economy are its weak production base, the small average size of firms, the inefficient labour market conditions and institutional dysfunctionalities. The most promising policies for raising productivity refer to active labour market and educational reforms, productive investment, the promotion of research and innovation (R&I), the exploitation of synergies and incentives to grow the average firm size, and institutional reforms in the public sector and markets.
The amelioration of the competitiveness of the Greek economy in 2021 is manifested in the improvement of a series of measures, including the primary deficit and the government deficit, the debt-to-GDP ratio, the current accounts deficit and the cost-competitiveness indicators of the CPI- based REER and the ULCT-based REER. The country has also made substantial improvement in attracting FDI, but more efforts should be made to attract greenfield investments and improve its business climate, particularly in terms of reforming contract enforcement and property registration.
Furthermore, the country continues to improve in digitisation, but it needs to increase the number of firms that provide ICT training, fixed VHCN coverage, fibre to the premises coverage, the number of SMEs with at least a basic level of digital intensity, the number of firms using cloud and the digital public services for businesses and for citizens as well as the number of pre-filled forms. It also presents high scores in the green transition, but it should improve green society indicators, particularly in recycling and green transport, and make progress in clean innovation indicators, such as green patents and foodtech private investment, as well as in climate policy indicators, including the sustainability of agriculture and other climate actions in alignment with the Paris Agreement. Moreover, Greece should enhance its position in attracting (foreign and domestic) investments in renewables, and accelerate in all other aspects of transition (in addition to the green and the digital ones) to converge with and exceed the EU average.
Finally, the country should increase public spending on R&I to reinforce the positive spillover effects on industry and the entire economy, together with the regular monitoring and evaluation of suitable R&D effectiveness measures. To this end, it should facilitate —via a wide range of incentives— the training of employees in the public and private sectors in new technologies and promote knowledge transfer, exploiting collaborations between the business sector and the government, universities, and research centres, through joint research projects and training programmes, and university-based science parks and business incubators.