BUSINESS

Optimism on course of state and personal finances grows

The pessimism index in Greece is showing a decline for the first time in two years, according to the economic barometer that polling company Alco uses for the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Although the vast majority of citizens remain downbeat about the course of the country’s economy and their personal finances, the percentage of pessimists has receded considerably in comparison with the previous poll in October.

The December poll found that 71 percent of Greeks are pessimistic about Greece’s economy, down from 80 percent in October, while the rate for optimists climbed to 19 percent from just 6 percent in October. Another 10 percent failed to respond. The optimism rate is the highest since February 2011. Regarding personal finances, 74 percent expressed pessimism, from 83 percent in October, while 17 percent said they were optimistic, compared to 6 percent in the previous poll.

ACCI commented on Thursday that the outcome of the poll is likely to be affected by the disbursement of the bailout tranche this month and it remains to be seen whether it was a temporary phenomenon or a trend with more permanent features.

The poll also found that 57 percent are against Sunday opening for stores, with 34 percent in favor, while 63 percent call for the optimum utilization of existing civil servants against 24 percent who would rather see layoffs.

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