IOBE: Greek economic sentiment index slightly higher in January

Greece’s economic sentiment index moved slightly higher in January to 101.9 points from 101.3 in December, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Thursday.

IOBE, in a monthly report, said the index continued moving higher for the second successive month remaining at its highest levels since November 2014. A recovery in construction, retail commerce and industry was counterbalanced by a deterioration in services and consumer confidence.

The report noted that the Greek economy has entered a period of stabilisation and anticipation of a new direction in the last few months. Expectations by citizens and enterprises have stabilised, although at much lower levels compared with the European average, as uncertainties over the short-term horizon have decreased. A third review of the Greek programme was completed rapidly, while discussion on a “post-memorandum” era and its characteristics has already begun. These characteristics will define the economic environment and are expected to affect expectations, positively or negatively.

Specifically, business expectations in the industrial sector remained negative over orders and demand, although forecasts over production in the next few months remained optimistic and estimates over inventories improved slightly.

In the construction sector, expectations regarding the works programme improved, along with forecasts for employment. In the retail sector, expectations for current sales are now positive, along with forecasts concerning their short-term development, while estimates for inventories rose slightly. In the services sector, forecasts over the current condition of enterprises remained positive but weakened further, along with forecasts over current demand.

Consumer confidence showed an improvement of the balance over forecasts for the country’s economic condition and savings intention, although households’ forecasts over their finances and unemployment deteriorated further.