ECONOMY

Greek retail sales dip in January for third month in a row

Greek retail sales by volume fell 0.1 percent in January compared to the same month a year earlier, declining for the third month in a row against the backdrop of rising political tensions, statistics service ELSTAT said on Tuesday.

Sales volumes had risen for five months in a row through October on a pick up in consumer spending as the economy recovered from a protracted recession. But a turbulent political climate towards the end of last year hit consumer sentiment.

Retail sales in December were revised to a fall of 1.4 percent from a previous reading of a fall of 1.2 percent.

Greece’s economy recovered modestly last year after six years of deep contraction as national output expanded by 0.8 percent, driven by tourism 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]