Retail sales in Greece slide 1.9 pct in January

Greek retail sales by volume fell 1.9 percent in January from the same month last year, statistics service ELSTAT said on Friday.

The reading had dropped at an annual pace of 6.1 percent in December.

Hit by the deep recession and record unemployment, retail sales declined by about 40 percent in 2009-13 as a result of austerity policies imposed under the terms of its bailout.

Athens and its lenders expect private consumption to keep falling this year, despite an expected economic recovery of 0.6 percent which would be driven by investment, tourism and exports.