Local consumer confidence hit hard by crisis

Greece found itself at the bottom of a global consumer confidence chart for the year?s second quarter as the increasing recession forced Greek consumers to change their habits, according to a survey by the Nielsen market research firm.

The survey?s index showed Greece shedding four points from the first quarter of 2011, dropping to 41 points, below Portugal (42), Hungary (43) and Croatia (45), while in the same quarter last year it had scored 57 points.

Nine out of 10 Greek consumers believe that the recession will continue in the coming months, with labor insecurity (39 percent) and the economy (38 percent) weighing heaviest on their minds; these are the highest rates in Europe.

Notably, the global index dropped below 90 points for the first time since 2009, reversing an upward trend seen in previous quarters.