The concern of the dictatorship for the agricultural sector followed the example of previous governments. As the clouds of war were building up, Metaxas thought that the country should secure sufficiency in grain. Therefore he furthered production subsidies on the suggestion of the Central Committee for the Protection of Domestic Grain Production (KEPES). Furthermore, he facilitated the repayment of certain agricultural debts, while he interrupted the direct payment of others. Between 1927 and 1937, KEPES maintained the price of wheat at an 8,1% level higher than international market prices. The result of this protectionist policy was that the covering of domestic demand by domestic production rose from 30% in 1935 to 60% in 1939. Furthermore, cotton production rose fourfold between 1930 and 1939 and tobacco became the staple export item.

Over 80% of Greek exports were agricultural products, of which tobacco held indisputably the first place accounting for 50% of the total exportation and currant held the second place with a percentage of 25%. In the mid-thirties Great Britain, Italy, the United States and Germany absorbed 64% of Greek exports. During the second half of the thirties, Germany thanks to the method of clearing in international trade transactions emerged as the first partner of Greece and the main importer of its agricultural products. This method credited Greece, which had a surplus in its balance of trade with Germany, with the possibility of buying goods with Deutschmarks. In this way, it was possible to cash the credit through exports of equivalent value in steel, manufactured articles and coal. Virtually, in transactions of this kind both countries avoided to use foreign exchange, since they exchanged products of equal value. This type of foreign trade was very significant in a period of major foreign exchange difficulties like the one that ensued the Great Depression.

Industrial development continued with rapid rates throughout the dictatorship as well. Between 1930 and 1938 industrial output increased by 20-40%, while electric power rose by 50%. The workforce doubled. However, industry's share of the Gross National Product (GNP), although it increased, remained at a low level (16%) in 1939. The polemic climate that prevailed in Europe obliged the Greek economy to buy ordnance at the expense of the balance of trade. The outbreak of the war swept away even the last hopes of recovery.