ECONOMY

Economic sentiment index rises in February

economic-sentiment-index-rises-in-february

Greece’s economic sentiment index rose slightly to 91.9 points in February from 90.7 in January, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Monday.

In a monthly report, IOBE said that the relatively milder pandemic situation after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and the operation of the retail commerce sector helped improve business expectations in a significant part of the economy, as did progress in the distribution of vaccines.

On the other hand, the increase in Covid cases by mid-February, in combination with stricter measures, revived uncertainties regarding the development and impact of the pandemic in the country.

The survey partly incorporates the effects of recent restrictive interventions in Attica, Thessaloniki and other regions of Greece. IOBE noted that it was still too early to make a total assessment of the pandemic’s economic impact.

More specifically, business expectations in the industrial sector showed a slight improvement in a negative balance of estimates as regards orders and demand, while positive estimates concerning production in the coming months changed markedly.

In the construction sector, negative estimates regarding production eased, but negative estimates concerning employment were steeper. In retail commerce, negative estimates as regards current sales changed markedly, along with negative estimates about their short-term trends, while inventories rose. In the services sector, negative estimates regarding the current condition of enterprises improved.

Households were more pessimistic about the country’s finances, in contrast to their estimates regarding their own.