BUSINESS

Consumers revert to pessimism

TAGS: Economy

The improvement in consumer confidence in Greece in the last quarter of 2017 proved temporary, as optimism late last year gave way to pessimism in the first quarter of 2018, according to GfK’s quarterly survey.

The data confirm the picture seen in retail commerce since the start of the year with a stagnation in sales, as consumers are at best waiting to see developments in the economy and foreign policy.

Expectations regarding the state of the economy dropped to -20.6 points in Q1, down 8.4 points from the last quarter of 2017, with the minus sign showing that pessimists outnumbered optimists. The Greeks were second to last in the European Union, with the Italians being the most pessimistic.

Regarding expectations in terms of their own incomes, the Greeks are rock bottom in Europe, with the rate falling six points since the October-December 2017 period to -27.7 points. There was also a one-point drop to -23.6 points in purchasing intention, the lowest in the EU.

In contrast to consumers, chief executive officers at Greece’s biggest enterprises appear more optimistic, with the index compiled by ICAP reading 160 points in Q1 from 154 points in the previous quarter.

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