The Greek economic sentiment index eased to 99.8 points in March, ending a months-long rising trend, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Monday.
IOBE, in a monthly report, said that this development was the result of a significant weakening of business expectations in all sectors of the economy, particularly in construction and industry, and to a lesser extent in services and retail commerce. The Foundation said the March decline was a correction of possibly over-optimistic expectations recorded in the previous months and stressed that this correction could be related with growing uncertainty over domestic and foreign policy issues, while the combination of a continued heavy tax burden and lack of clarity and consensus over the funding terms of the country after the end of the current programme was a cause of concern.
More specifically, in the industrial sector, business expectations over order and demand remained negative along with production levels in the coming months. In the construction sector, business expectations remained negative both on work programme and employment, in the retail commerce sector, estimates over current sales were more negative, while positive forecasts over short-term sales weakened slightly along with estimates over inventories.
In the services sector, positive estimates over the current condition of enterprises and current demand weakened, although estimates over short-term demand improved slightly.
Consumer confidence was mixed, with estimates over households’ finances deteriorating, along with estimates over the country’s finances, while saving intention improved and estimates over unemployment trends were less pessimistic.