ESEE: Majority of Greek commerce enterprises showed resilience in H1

Around six out of 10 Greek enterprises have no arrears to the state and showed resilience during the first half of 2016, despite an economic crisis. At the same time, more than one in four enterprises in the commerce sector (27.6 pct of total) were characterized as “threatened” as they showed a decline in turnover and arrears at the same time, a report by the Federation of Hellenic Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE) said on Wednesday.

The report, based on a sample of 1,200 enterprises in wholesale and retail commerce, showed that 59.4 pct of them reported a decline in turnover in the first half, compared with the same period last year, while a 32.5 pct said turnover was unchanged and 8.2 pct reported an increase. The average decline in turnover was 23.4 pct in the January-June period. In the same period, 86.1 pct of enterprises had no new hirings or dismissals. A further 24 pct of enterprises in the wholesale sector and 29 pct in the retail sector have arrears to the tax agency, while arrears to pension funds were 21 pct and 30 pct, respectively. Arrears to suppliers were 19 pct and 17 pct, respectively.

ESEE said 5.8 pct of enterprises reported an increase in turnover in the first half and have no arrears (so-called dynamic enterprises). Another 2.8 pct of enterprises reported an increase in turnover but have arrears (developing enterprises), 19.3 pct reported unchanged turnover without arrears (resilient), and 11.6 pct reported unchanged turnover with arrears (fighters).

Of the enterprises in the survey, 32.9 pct reported lower turnover but no debts and 27.6 pct combined lower turnover with arrears (mostly self-employed businesses).

Vasilis Korkidis, president of ESEE, commenting on the survey said he was cautiously optimistic over developments in the Greek market but stressed the need for an “immediate resolution of market problems to see a light at the end of the tunnel”.