The Greek consumer confidence index, compiled by Nielsen, remained stable in the last quarter of 2017 after a significant rise in the third quarter. Its stabilization at 60 points for a second consecutive quarter illustrates the sudden end of optimism in mid-2017 and expectations for high growth rates.
Based on its Q4 performance and compared with the 64 countries monitored by Nielsen, Greece is still the most pessimistic country in Europe and the second most pessimistic in the world after Venezuela. Despite the eight-point hike in the summer quarter, consumer confidence in Greece remained at particularly low levels compared with the period before the onset of the financial crisis.
Market observers note that consumer confidence in Greece will in the coming quarters be particularly affected by how fast the upcoming final review of the bailout program is completed, by the increase or reduction in employment and by developments on foreign policy matters.
The issue of unemployment tends to be key in containing a further improvement in consumer confidence in Europe. The index reading for the continent was at 87 points in the October-December 2017 period, up from 81 points a year earlier but far below other parts in the world.