The Greco-Italian Great Depression

The US economy recovered from the Great Depression faster than the Greek and Italian economies are expected to recover from the Eurozone crisis

According to data from the Maddison Project, US real GDP per capita was $6,900 (in 1990 international dollars) in 1929, the year of the Wall Street Crash. It did not surpass that level until 1940––11 years later––when it reached $7,000. During the intervening period, US unemployment peaked at around 25%.

According to data from the IMF, Greek real GDP per capita was €22,700 in 2007, and Italian real GDP per capita was €29,000. 10 years on, Greek real GDP per capita is only €17,400 and Italian GDP per capita is only €26,000. Neither of these is projected to surpass its 2007-level before 2022––the latest year for which IMF projections are available. During the crisis, Greek unemployment peaked at over 27%, and Italian unemployment peaked at over 13%.

Insofar as the American standard of living recovered from the Great Depression faster than the Greek and Italian standards of living are expected to recover from the Eurozone crisis, there would be seem to be a case for talking about a Greco-Italian Great Depression.

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