Slight rise in economic sentiment in December


The economic sentiment index in Greece posted a slight improvement in December according to the monthly reading released by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) on Friday.

The index showed 87.1 points last month against 86.5 points in November, but despite the small improvement the index remained well below the level seen a year earlier, as in December 2014 its reading had been 99.1 points.

IOBE commented that the small rise is attributed to improved expectations, mainly in retail commerce and to a lesser extent in industry, while consumer confidence is also showing a small improvement. In contrast, pessimism is growing in the services and construction sectors.

Despite increased tax obligations and uncertainty over developments in the main parameters of social and economic policy, such as the pension reform, there has been a general picture of stability over the last four months of 2015.

However, the expectations of both consumers and enterprises appeared stuck at a lower level than that of 2014 or that of the first half of 2015, as the imposition of capital controls is proving a major turning point for the Greek economy. And all this at a time when the eurozone is witnessing a significant improvement in economic sentiment.