ECONOMY

Greek retail sales drop 7.3 pct in July

greek-retail-sales-drop-7-3-pct-in-july

Greek retail sales by volume fell 7.3 percent in July compared to the same month a year earlier, led lower by cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, apparel, footwear and vehicle fuels, statistics service ELSTAT said on Wednesday.

Data on gross domestic product have shown resilience in Greek consumer spending, which rose 1.1 percent in the second quarter, helping the economy to expand by 0.9 percent.

Sales volumes had risen for five months in a row through to October 2014 on a pick up in consumer spending, as the economy showed signs of picking up after a protracted recession. But political uncertainty during acrimonious talks with the country's lenders towards the end of last year hit consumer sentiment.

Capital controls and a three-week shutdown Greece imposed in the summer to avert a massive flight of deposits took a heavy toll on consumption in July.

Greece's economic slump and record unemployment saw retail sales decline by about 40 percent over 2009-2014, hammered by austerity policies imposed under the terms of Greece's 240-billion-euro EU/IMF bailout. [Reuters]