Greek CEOs more pessimistic in first quarter

Greek CEOs’ economic sentiment general index, conducted by the Association of Chief Executive Officers in cooperation with Icap, fell to 124 points in the first quarter of 2017, down six points from the previous quarter, reflecting a negative climate prevailing among CEOs over economic conditions in the country because of a delay in concluding a second review of the Greek bailout program.

The index, conducted on a sample of 2,722 CEOs from the largrest Greek enterprises in the period March 2-19, showed a decline in all categories of enterprises. The current status index fell to 116 points in the first quarter, from 124 in the previous quarter, while the expectation index eased to 132 points from 136 points, respectively

The percentage of CEOs saying that the country’s current economic situation improved fell to 5.0 pct in Q1 from 10 pct in Q4 2016, while the percentage of those saying the economy deteriorated grew to 69 pct in Q1 from 54 pct in Q4. A 15 pct of CEOs expect the country’s economic condition to be better next year.

The percentage of CEOs saying the current situation of their sector was worse compared with one year ago, grew to 47 pct in Q1 from 37 pct in Q4 2016, while the percentage of CEOs expecting an improvement in the next 12 months fell to 18 pct from 20 pct, respectively.

The investment index fell to 109 points in the first quarter from 114 points in the fourth quarter of 2016, while the investment expectations index eased to 116 points from 125 points, respectively. The percentage of CEOs expecting an improvement in investment spending in the next 12 months fell to 21 pct from 30 pct. The employment idnex, however, rose to 110 points in the first quarter from 104 in the previous quarter, while a 53 pct of CEOs expect employment conditions to be better in the next 12 months.

A 90 pct of CEOs expect that negotiations to conclude a second review will be delayed, but believe that an agreement will be reached, while 9.0 pct of CEOs expect Greece to reach an agreement with its creditors in March and only an 1.0 pct see a break up of negotiations.

Nikitas Constantellos, president of the Association and chairman and CEO of Icap Group, said that the index fell in the first quarter after three successive quarters of advance, reflecting CEOs’ concern over a delay in concluding second review talks.