BUSINESS

Taxes make savings impossible, IOBE study shows

EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Banking, Economy

The financial state of Greek households deteriorated further in November, with few managing to save any money, according to the latest business and consumer survey by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) published on Friday.

The survey found that nine out of 10 people (91 percent) had no plans to make any savings, up from 88 percent in October, with only 9 percent saying that they do manage to put some money away.

Savings capacity has been exhausted due to overtaxation. The phenomenon has not only affected people with little to no income but also the 13 percent of households who have savings but are forced to dip into them to meet their ever growing obligations to the state. The share of households that declare they can barely make ends meet has risen from 60 to 65 percent in a month.

The index indicating intent to save in the next 12 months kept declining in November, to -79.5 points from -78.6 points in October. In the European Union and the eurozone the same rates came to -0.2 and -3.5 points respectively.

The IOBE findings coincide with data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) which portray the dramatic decline in Greek households’ disposable income: It has dropped to a 15-year low, to levels unseen since 2001 (before the introduction of the euro).

That reduction is clearly reflected in bank deposits, which have declined to the same level as in 2003. The rise in deposits recorded in October is mainly attributed to the inflow of agricultural subsidies from the European Commission, while the amount of money circulating in the market is in constant decline, consumed for everyday needs.

IOBE also found that the consumer confidence index remained stagnant at -53.8 points, from -54 in October, reaching its highest point since the imposition of capital controls in late June 2015. This is explained by the economy’s return to growth, although consumers agree that their economic prospects for the next 12 months are deteriorating.

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