BUSINESS

Economic Sentiment Index climbs to a four-year high

TAGS: Economy

The indexes of economic sentiment and consumer confidence both staged a recovery last month after June’s decline, according to the monthly survey by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) which was presented on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the country’s leading think tank noted that the survey was mostly conducted before last week’s deadly Attica wildfires.

The Economic Sentiment Index (ESI) climbed to 105.3 points in July – a four-year high – against 102.5 points in June.

The overall momentum of the ESI is in line with macroeconomic developments and the short-term indexes in various sectors, where the trend has been positive, IOBE argued. It also noted that the country’s apparent completion of the third bailout program without any surprises and the decisions on the post-program surveillance framework have contributed toward stabilizing the economy and improving expectations in some areas.

Although signs of strong growth momentum have yet to emerge, and the country’s return to the markets will likely be accompanied by great reservations and limitations, the decisions to ease the cost of servicing the national debt and the government’s commitment to keep its policy within a strict fiscal framework reduce the economic risks, IOBE claimed.

There is a mixed picture across economic sectors, with estimates improving in industry and retail commerce and deteriorating in construction and services. As far as consumer confidence is concerned, the medium-term forecasts for household finances showed a marginal decline, while there appears to be more optimism regarding the country’s economy, employment and intention to save money.

The Purchasing Managers Index that IHS Markit compiles was unchanged last month compared to June, at 53.5 points. The growth rate in manufacturing output and new orders slowed, partly reflecting the weaker increase in new export orders, commented Alex Gill, who heads the researching unit for Greece. Still, manufacturing saw output grow for a 14th month in a row. Gill said that unconfirmed data showed that output rose thanks to the increase in tourism arrivals.

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