The Greek economic sentiment index jumped to 113.2 points in February, from 109.5 in January, to its highest level in the last 19 years, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said in a report.
IOBE, in its monthly report, said that business expectations improved strongly in the industrial sector, mildly in services, while consumer confidence rose its highest level since July 2000. The report noted that both the business and consumer units have been affected by favourable conditions prevailing in the Greek economy during the last few months and the positive outlook created by a gradual decline in funding cost, tax cuts and other expected favourable fiscal interventions. However, it stressed that a crucial role will be played by the extent of a likely impact on economic sentiment from uncertainties over geopolitical tensions, an emerging refugee crisis, the fast-spreading coronavirus and subdued economic growth rates in Europe and other trading partners.
More specifically, business expectations in the industrial sector showed that a negative balance of forecasts over orders and demand eased slightly, estimates over inventories fell markedly and forecasts over production in the coming months changed markedly. In the construction sector, negative forecasts over the production programme rose strongly while negative forecasts over employment eased strongly. In the retail sector, positive forecasts over current sales rose mildly, while estimates over short-term sales and inventories de-escalated strongly. In the services sector, positive estimates over the current condition of enterprises rose mildly. In consumer confidence, households’ estimates over the country’s finances and their own finances rose along with expectations over purchases and saving intentions.