GDP is a very sketchy measure of economic output/performance. GDP as a measure of economic output is fraught with inaccuracies and composition errors. A better measure is to either discount those errors, which in itself becomes more of a subjective exercise, or more prudently just to look at the revenues and expenses of a nation. GDP today is simply Grossly Deficient Plagiarism.
The GDP growth chart since 2000 shows that Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Greece for the vast majority of the last decade on average experienced robust economic growth. The fact is though, however, despite all of that, they are all bankrupt. So even with all the supposed robust growth and cheerleading, significant increases in GDP have: loaded sovereign balance sheets with toxic debt, created unfunded liabilities, a transfer of private debt to the public and a marked decrease in livelihoods. Professor Bernanke, please can you explain?