Greek economic sentiment index up in December

Greek economic sentiment index recovered further in December to 94.6 points, from 92.4 points in November, the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Monday.

In a monthly report, IOBE said this positive trend followed a wider improvement of economic climate in the Eurozone and the EU-28 and it is the highest reading in the last 15 months. IOBE said the Greek economy stabilized in 2016 despite strong tax pressures on enterprises and households and a continuing uncertainty in relations with the country’s creditors. Greek enterprises seemed to adjust on a new balance point on demand seeking to find a new position in the domestic and international environment, while consumers were less pessimistic over unemployment trends in the next 12 months. The economic sentiment index is currently moving within estimates for a GDP recovery in 2017. However, the improvement of expectations and of the economy was not yet robust and will depend on a number of factors in 2017, mainly on the consistency and credibility of an implemented economic policy, particularly on structural reforms and new production.

More analytically, business expectations in the manufacturing sector showed a weakening of positive predictions over production in the next few months, while the balance in estimates on inventories de-escalated and negative estimates on new orders and demand remained almost unchanged.

In the services sector, estimates over the current condition of enterprises changed negatively, along with those on current demand and short-term developments.

In the retail commerce sector, positive estimates on current sales eased slightly, while estimates over short-term development improved and inventories rose.

In the construction sector, pessimistic estimates over work program eased markedly, but grew stronger on employment estimates.

The consumer confidence index improved as Greek households were less pessimistic over their estimates for their own finances and the county’s finances for the next 12 months.