Greeks cut down even on food, power

The financial crisis is forcing households to cut down on all their expenses, including even the most basic ones such as food and electricity, according to the latest available data, with a consumer confidence survey by the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) suggesting that six out 10 households can barely make ends meet.

Hellenic Statistical Authority figures revealed a 7.6 annual decline in sales at big food stores such as supermarkets, while sales at other food stores (butchers, bakeries etc) have shrunk by 20.1 percent year-on-year.

Fuel sales have declined by 12.3 percent annually and consumers are even cutting down on electricity use, as power consumption by households and small businesses showed a 2.45 percent annual decline in the first seven months of the year.

Given all of the above, and the 16.6 percent jobless rate (in May), it is therefore no surprise that shops? turnover in the first three weeks of the summer sales has shown a 25 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2010.