The increased number of inspections and the extensive use of plastic money contributed toward an unexpected rise in retail commerce turnover in July, even though salaries keep decreasing and tourists spent less money than last year.
Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data showed that while tourism takings were down 3.5 percent in total in July on an annual basis, retail commerce turnover rose 4.5 percent from June, while the sales volume expanded 4.9 percent from the previous month. In particular, the apparel sector enjoyed an 8.5 percent monthly rise in turnover from June and 37.4 percent growth in sales volume.
The increase in inspections in July resulted in many more stores issuing receipts. Therefore a part of the undeclared turnover that ELSTAT could not record in the past has come to the surface, illustrating the effectiveness of more checks and the necessity for all transactions to be made through online systems.
“Tax evasion is estimated to amount to about 25-30 percent of the market’s turnover. Even if 10 percent of the undeclared turnover is declared, then the ELSTAT figures are dramatically changed,” a retail commerce association official told Kathimerini. He and other people add that, since July, tax inspections have increased in the market, resulting in the soaring of sales in shoes and clothing, where tax dodging is not as extensive as it is in food service.
The same sources note that, unlike in Greece’s major cities, popular tourism destinations still appear to have a high degree of non-issue of receipts, even in the apparel sector.