GSEVEE: 4.5 pct of enterprises likely or possible to shut down in the near future

The Greek economy is showing signs of stabilisation compared with the previous year, but small enterprises continue to face difficulties, the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) said in a survey released on Thursday.

The survey showed that 22 pct of enterprises said they did not make any profits, while 44 pct reported profits up to 10,000 euros and six out of 10 enterprises reported deteriorating liquidity in spite a more favourable economic environment. Additionally, the percentage of enterprises with overdue debts to tax authorities rose to 24.8 pct from 23.8 pct and the insecurity and fear index remained at very high levels. According to the survey, 34.5 pct of enterprises said it was likely or possible they will shut down in the near future (from 38.1 pct in the previous six months and 38.1 pct in February 2017). The survey said that around 7,000 businesses were expected to shut down in the next six months, mostly very small enterprises and self-employed entrepreneurs.

George Kavvathas, president of the Confederation, said growth was confined to the numbers and not the real economy and noted that a decline in unemployment was the result of the introduction of flexible labour forms and not stable employment jobs.

The survey also showed a decline in the commerce sector but a slight upturn in manufacturing, while the problems experienced during the crisis remained, such as huge weakness in accessing money and lack of investments in the real economy.

The survey said that the economic data confirmed the hypothesis that the country was exiting the stagnation of the 2014-2016 period, confirmed that dynamic sectors were growing out of sync with the rest of the economy and also highlighted the need to implement policies focusing on the needs of small domestic units, improving the terms of commerce and offering better access to markets and improving the funding environment.