ECONOMY

Capital controls, snap polls hit Greek retail sales

capital-controls-snap-polls-hit-greek-retail-sales

Greek retail sales are expected to drop by 12.7 percent in the three months to August, as capital controls and a three-week bank closure hit consumer spending in the summer discount period, Greece’s retailers association ESEE said on Monday.

Retail sales by revenue are expected to have fallen to 9.2 billion euros in the June-August period from 10.6 billion in the same period a year ago, ESEE said.

Summer sales from July 15 to the end of August failed to lure shoppers whose confidence and ability to buy was hit by capital controls imposed on June 29 and uncertainty after the government called snap elections for next month, it said.

“Summer sales for 2015 have been the victim of an economic and political Armageddon with dramatic results for Greece’s retail sector,” the head of the association, Vassilis Korkidis, said in a statement.

Former prime minister Alexis Tsipras opted for snap polls, aiming to consolidate his grip over his leftist SYRIZA party.

Retail sales are seen down by 1.1 billion euros in July and August compared to the same period last year, although demand for food and fuel is expected to have surged in July as people stocked up on basic goods fearing shortages. Sales of other goods, such as clothing and footwear, nosedived, ESEE said.

[Reuters]