ECONOMY

Greek retail sales rise for fourth month in a row in September

Greek retail sales by volume rose 2.2 percent in September compared to the same month last year, after a downwardly revised 7.3 percent increase in August, statistics service ELSTAT said on Friday.

Sales volumes rose for the fourth month in a row, pointing to a boost in consumer spending in the third quarter as the economy recovers from a protracted slump.

Greece emerged from a crippling six-year recession as early as the start of the year and has been growing ever since, data showed earlier this month.

Greece’s international lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, expect the economy to post a modest recovery in 2014 after six years of deep recession. National output is projected to grow 0.6 percent, driven by tourism, investment and exports.

Hit by the country’s deep economic slump and record unemployment, retail sales declined by about 40 percent in 2009-2013, driven by austerity policies imposed under the terms of Greece’s 240-billion-euro EU/IMF bailout. [Reuters]