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IOBE: Greek Consumer Confidence Higher, Economy on Standby


Consumer confidence in Greece, improved in December, achieving a four-year high, while the economic climate remained steady, the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), said this week.

However, in its survey, the country’s most influential think-tank notes that business expectations in tourism were deteriorating.

More specifically, the business expectation index for Hotels – Restaurants – Travel Agencies declined further in December to 87.5 from 102.7 points, compared to 102.2 points a year earlier.

According to the IOBE business and consumer survey, short-term demand appears to be declining, along with forecasts for employment in the sector.

At the same time, estimates of the current business conditions are marginally negative, while the index for current demand is dropping.

The survey places the price index at -8 points. IOBE analysts go on to note that 21 percent – compared to 32 percent – of businesses are reporting smooth operations, with 33 percent claiming lack of demand is impacting operations, followed by 12 percent citing lack of working capital, and 29 percent referring to the current economic conditions.

Economic Climate

Meanwhile, according to the IOBE survey, the economic climate in Greece remained steady in December, down to 101.6 points against 101.8 points in November.

On the upside, consumer confidence recorded its highest performance since March 2015, following an upward course over the past six months.

IOBE analysts assess that the Greek economy is currently on standby as businesses and households try to adapt to the new economic conditions after Greece’s exit from its bailout program last August.

The report adds that the economic climate improved on average in 2018 compared to the year before, but performance was among the lowest in the EU.

Private Sector Fears Uncertain Future

In relevant news, six in 10 Greek private sector employees do not expect an improvement in wages and more than half (58 percent), said they felt uncertain about the future of their jobs over the next six months, according to a survey carried out by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), Greece’s largest trade union body.

More than half (56 percent) of the respondents, were pessimistic regarding the country’s prospects over the coming months, with the rate soaring to 71 percent of those polled working part time.

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