ECONOMY

Consumer spending back to 2004 levels

Greek consumer spending is expected to fall to 2004 levels if the government?s plan for budget savings of 11.5 billion over the next two years is implemented, according to the Commerce and Services Institute of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (INEMY-ESEE).

According to Eurostat calculations which do not take into account the planned savings, final consumption spending is projected to fall to 206,465 million units of the Purchasing Power Standard (PPS) in 2013 from 207,914 million PPS units this year. INEMY-ESEE has calculated that if the savings are implemented, final consumption will fall to 196,565 million PPS units — which is slightly above the 2004 level — if not more. The fall will amount to 16.6 percent in PPS terms since 2008. In no other country of the eurozone is consumer spending projected to fall in 2013, including those of the so-called periphery hit by the economic crisis.

?We all feel exhausted and every new measure imposed on a society that has no more to give is truly painful. The spending cut measures will be wrong,? said ESEE Chairman Vassilis Korkidis.