Retail commerce turnover will improve this month by just 60 million euros compared to December 2016, according to estimates by the Institute of Commerce and Services of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises (INEMY ESEE), as the average increase in the Christmas period came to just 2.5 percent.
In the first Christmas season to observe a rise in turnover in seven years, retailers saw sales lagging expectations, as only department stores, chains and shopping centers reported a rise between 5 and 6 percent year-on-year; smaller retailers, on the other hand, reported a decline in December turnover reaching up to 12 percent.
INEMY ESEE expects turnover for the month to amount to 4.09 billion euros, against 4.03 billion a year earlier. This rise is set to make the difference for the year, as sales turnover for the whole of 2017 is projected to come to 42 billion euros, up 1.5 percent on last year’s 41.4 billion.
Market insiders say sales growth would have met expectations had the tax load not been so heavy on consumers, as in December alone they were expected to pay more than 4 billion euros in taxes.
Another factor that has weighed on turnover growth is anticipation of the winter sales, which start on January 8 and end on February 28.