Small improvement of business expectations in all market sectors

Greek economic sentiment index rose to 91.4 points in September from 90.9 in August reflecting a small improvement of business expectations in all market sectors and an increase in consumer confidence which is gradually recovering, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Monday.

IOBE said the economic sentiment index records a gradual recovery of expectations after plunging in the summer of
2015 and reflects a return to normality in the economy and the implementation of an economic adjustment program. At the same time, the fact that economic sentiment has not returned to 2014 levels reflects, partly, additional pressure -tax and other- facing both Greek households and enterprises. The Foundation noted that on a short-term view an environment of greater stability seemed to be created, related with uncertainty prevailing early in the year, while consumers seemed to have discounted -up to a point- additional burdens related with tax and pension reforms.

More analytically, business expectations in the industrial sector showed an improvement over production estimates, while estimates over inventories remained unchanged and negative estimates over orders and demand eased slightly. In the service sector, negative estimates over current situation eased along with estimates over current demand. In the retail commerce, estimates over current sales recovered along with estimates over short-term developments and the inventories index rising. In the construction sector, negative estimates over current works eased but without a similar improvement in employment estimates.

The consumer confidence index improved as households were less pessimistic over their finances and the country’s public finances for the next 12 months. Estimates over saving intentions improved although estimates over unemployment deteriorated further.

Economic sentiment improved in the eurozone and the EU in September.