ECONOMY

Economic sentiment slips to five-month low

Greece?s economic sentiment eased marginally in May from the previous month, dipping to a 2011 low, as consumers remain downbeat about the state of the economy and their own personal finances, according to the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE).

IOBE said in a monthly report on Monday that its economic climate index ? based on business expectations sub-indices covering industry, construction, retail trade, services and consumer confidence ? inched lower to 74 points, from 74.2 in April and 78.4 in March.

?Expectations among businesses and consumers cannot easily stabilise in a climate of uncertainty and general dissatisfaction on the course of the economy as the fiscal adjustment continues and the mix of austerity measures become more demanding,? the report said.

With almost 100 percent of households expecting further hikes in unemployment levels in the next twelve months, Greek consumers have become the most pessimistic in the European Union, the report added.

Economic sentiment in the eurozone in May dipped to 105.5 points, from 106.1 in April and 107.3 in March.