Major growth in consumer confidence, but prospects remain gloomy


Consumer sentiment soared last summer with the growth in tourism, as Nielsen’s confidence index jumped eight points in July-September from the second quarter of 2017, reaching 60 points – its highest point since the first quarter of 2015, when it came to 65 points.

Nielsen attributes the improvement seen last summer to positive expectations regarding the course of unemployment, which appear to be justified by the latest figures on retail commerce that point to a rising trend in 2017 for the first time in seven years.

Nevertheless five in six Greeks (83 percent) said they expected the country to remain mired in recession in 2018, marginally less than the rate in the second quarter (85 percent). That 83 percent was the highest rate seen across the 63 countries where Nielsen conducts its consumer surveys.

Greece was also top in terms of job insecurity, with three in 10 Greeks worried they may lose their job. Another 30 percent are concerned about household debts and 28 percent about the economy. All that goes a long way toward explaining the 70 percent of households that are constantly reducing their expenditure.